Quality vs objections: make your case

Quality vs objections is the consideration of how quality highlights issues and objections must be overcome before things get better.

This article examines the benefits that quality and quality reviews bring to your business.

It also subsequently reviews the most common objections and suggests ways to handle objections you may encounter.

The effect of quality is far more reaching than short term time and monetary investment.  Yet objections are often immediate but long lasting.

  • Setting up
  • Knowing the benefits
  • Quality vs objections
  • How to start

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Setting up

What is quality?

Quality and its definition are discussed here: “An objective, measured approach to delivering a subjective need”

Identify clear needs.  From needs, you can easily create objective measures.  These measures gauge the delivery of your needs.

  • Customer needs are always subjective as those needs are their own opinions and feelings.
  • A company’s is people.  People set the strategy, goals, objectives, etc. which will cause a different set of needs.
  • Everyone in the business needs to see objectively if targets are being hit, therefore clear measures are vital.

 

Metrics provide objective clearly defined measures against which to check the delivery of your compliance.

These measures can come from a variety of sources and be gathered in a variety of methods.

Different quality assurance approaches allow you build quality programs and you have choices.

Yet before you build a program you need your business to opt in.

 

Knowing the benefits

Why bother with Quality?

Why should a company bother with quality you may ask.  Especially when tools, methods and the effort required can be costly to a business.

The simplest response is why does anyone buy insurance?  For some it’s a legal have to, for risk averse minds it’s a way of dealing with the what if.

As a manager or director of a company the what if is the best reason for quality.  Being able to deal with the bad days is best done on the good days.

 

Quality as a system and its approaches

  • Firstly gives every employee a purpose in an organisation.
  • Next it can unify the company as a whole as it increases the feeling of safety.
  • Also there are numerous benefits to an employee feeling like they are worth something to their employer and the goals of the organisation.
  • Furthermore the more successful a company is can be directly related to a company’s ability to give their customer what they want.

There are actually a great many reasons why any company should bother with quality.

Apart from these internally focused reasons, there are a few more significant reasons why quality is important.

 

Customer Retention and Value

To retain customers for repeat business, a company must sell products that live up to the customer’s expectations.

If a customer has a good experience they are likely to come back when another need arises.

A customer must feel that what they bought from you is worth their repeat business.

When dealing with an irate customer being able to put quality vs objections can help diffuse the situation.

 

Working out the math of a customer includes “cost of sale”, “average spend”, “average lifetime”, “churn rate”.

Quality can reduce cost of sale, increase average spend and lifetime and greatly reduce churn rate.

 

Reputation

A company’s reputation relies heavily on the quality of it’s products or services.

Customers who receive a lower – quality product than expected will complain to friends, family and co- workers about how the product or service didn’t live up to their expectations.

This will ultimately lower your reputation with all consumers, especially if a large enough block of your customers have had negative experiences.

For your business measuring reputation comes from approaches such as NPS or CES scores.

 

 

Legal reasons

Forget quality vs objections, operating legally is a must for all long term viable businesses.

In many industries in many countries legal compliance is a must. It’s not enough to say you’re compliant you have to prove it.

Quality is the acting of checking your compliance.

 

Products and / or services legally must perform in a compliant way. In other words, “fit for purpose”.

Sometimes your products or services do not work properly or meet the expectations you define.

As a result you can be sued by not only your customers but also by the state you operate in.

When doing business with certain customers or governmental departments accreditation to quality standards may be an essential requirement.

Putting in place a formally accredited quality control systems play a crucial role in complying with standards.

This same accreditation can also help you win new customers or enter new markets as it gives prospects independent confirmation of your company’s ability to supply quality products.

 

Safety

The things you sell to consumers must also be safe, and not just for legal reasons or the hassle of bothering with quality.

Malfunctioning or unsafe products are a threat in almost every industry.

Avoidable dangerous situations for you, your customers, the company and its employees is eminently sensible.

Arguing safety when considering quality vs objections, no one will want to pen their name to creating unsafe solutions.

 

Costs

Poor quality increases costs and increases the amount of waste your business incurs.

Analysing nonconforming / faulty goods or services and determining “root causes” of issues and retesting products after reworking them adds up quickly.

By the time you get all that done customers have been waiting some of whom might have legal cases against you.

In some cases, you may have to go back to the drawing board altogether and incur additional costs to replace them along with compensating customers.

Improved employee morale

Employee morale is higher in a company using a quality assurance system, since the organization is more likely to run well, and actively seeks methods for improvement.

Furthermore quality systems like Total Quality Management actively involve employees in the process of quality improvement.

Employees become stakeholders in the organization and its success.

Consequently improved employee morale results in less absenteeism and turnover among workers.

 

Quality vs objections

Start with the most common objections

In my experience people often pit quality vs objections.  The objections are often rife as it means hassle and more work.

So what are the potential objections to quality?

  • Firstly it might simply be lack of knowledge: “We don’t need that type of solution.”
  • Also it could be a specific, warranted concern: “That’ll make our price higher than everyone else.”
  • Furthermore the objections may represent a hidden agenda: I don’t want you prodding into my productivity, that golf bag is in the boot of my car for a reason.
  • Yet it may be a perception issue: “The Cloud isn’t secure.”
  • Or simply we may not be clear about their interests: “That’s not a priority for me this year.”

 

Stage one: Are you being heard?

Taking the time out to have the meeting / discussion at all is a huge starting point.  They heard you, now you are putting quality vs objections.  Yet what objections?

You’ve planted a seed in terms of making people aware that quality is a discussion point.

Common sense immediately prevailing may not happen but this is in everyone’s long term interest.

 

In court there are two tables the defense and the prosecution.  However in a business there is only one table and you’re all at it.

Empathy and putting yourself on their side of the table can help to lower defensive posture.  Acknowledge peoples objections, don’t dismiss them.

As a manager you’re trying to change hearts and minds.  Above all, if it was easy, the business would have adopted it ages ago.

 

Move to everyone listening

When pitting quality vs objections, you need the objections.

You need to be dispassionate and get a strong understanding of why not.

 

You can start with a bit of background as to what quality is but moving from you talking to everyone else talking is key.

Yes and no answers are not going to help anyone.  They are an indication that people are shutting down the conversation.

We are moving from “being heard” to “being listened to”.

 

Asking open questions which require descriptions is important.  Learning to shut up at this point and listen is vital.

  • “Why don’t we have a quality program?”  “We tried it before and it didn’t work?”  “What happened?”
  • “We can’t really do quality?” “Can I ask why?” “Well we have unions to think of.”

You’re looking to get a picture of why it didn’t work before so that you can learn from past mistakes.

If the business never tried quality before then here’s the opportunity to prove your case that it will.

 

Make your words count

Addressing the objections first has to be the your primary focus.

If you feel like you cannot solve it there and then ask “can I take these issues away and come up with something for you?”

You need to build your case to back up your points.  Especially if emotions are running high and nerves touched.

At the core of change is not fear itself but fear of being shamed.  You need to address that.

 

However if you feel ready to handle the objections effectively the handle the objections and highlight the benefits.

Unlike sales pitches, a quality pitch is about making sure it’s right for everyone.

If you garnered enough attention and interest to have a first meeting then getting a second should be possible.

Make sure at that first meeting you get as many objections as possible from those with concerns.

 

How to start

If you have decided you are putting quality vs objections, where do you even start?

This is in everyone’s interest but there are only some with the power to effect change in a business.

  1. Firstly identify the key stakeholders who can push the business into making this happen.
  2. Try to identify their objections before speaking to them.
  3. Regardless you need a meeting with them even just to gain insights and objections.
  4. With objections in hand, you need to work on your quality vs objections plan.
    A combination of a presentation, facts, history, costs vs savings and highlighting all the benefits mentioned above.

 

There are practiced quality teams who can come in and make recommendations based on their experiences.  Even pitching their own products and services they can provide approaches, suggestions and materials.

You may already have the skills and teams available in house to help you.

A platform / system on which to record your quality reviews will be required and there are a number of options available including bxp software.

Above all from the top down, management must be committed to investing and seeing the application of quality through the business.

 

As a company valued at $1 Trillion US Dollars, Apple and Steve Jobs approach to quality was an example of how quality pays despite how much trouble it causes.

Overlooking quality is short term gain, long term loss.

 

If there’s anything in this article you’d like to chat to me about you can contact me here or on social media.

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