Lowering Prices Can Increase Profits

A service provider recently sent me a bill for some work she had done for me. The job was not large, but I had requested a quote for the work before approving it, and when the invoice came, the price was slightly higher than had been indicated in the quote.

I debated the merits of questioning the bill, since the dollar amount in question was only $15, but I decided that it couldn’t hurt. So I sent off an email including the original quote, and asked for an explanation of the price discrepancy.

A few minutes later, I had my response. A new invoice was attached for the original amount, and an explanation of the difference between the two invoices. Apparently, there was a slight difference in materials used which resulted in the surcharge. However, she wrote off that surcharge once I pointed out that I had a quote for a lower price.

She didn’t have to write it off. She could have said that the change in materials justified the higher price. The material change was initiated by someone in my employ, and so I was actually responsible for that.

However, because she wrote off the $15, she made me happy. As a customer, I would now be happy to use her business once again, and to refer her to others. She made a solid business relationship that will ultimately bring her more business. The next time, the margin on the project may be larger, or the volume of referred business may justify the write-off.

Sometimes, the bird in the hand is worth less than the two in the bush. Releasing the one may result in two more coming days, months, or years down the line.

Sometimes, you really do need to pay attention to the big picture, and realize that what’s being debated isn’t worth the time, effort, or dollars you’re putting into it.