No one wants surgery (or ERP/CRM) even for free if they don’t need it

Hat tip to John Shaver of Aries Technology for sending me this cartoon from this past Sunday’s Lio.


I have used this analogy for years – implementing a new ERP, CRM or HR system at an organization is akin to a human being undergoing triple bypass surgery. No one is going to do it because it is on sale this month or even free. Price is not the issue.

Recently, this has become a much more personal example for me as my Dad has had this procedure (the bypass, not an ERP implementation). I can say with certainty, if his highly skilled surgeon had offered to operate on me in a father/son two-for-one monthly special, I would have vigorously declined his offer. Price was not the issue.

The next time you are working with a prospect who in interested in ERP/CRM/HR. Remember this. Price will not be the issue.

6 thoughts on “No one wants surgery (or ERP/CRM) even for free if they don’t need it

  1. Yes and the opposite is true as well. If you are looking for someone to perform bypass surgery (or ERP / CRM), you shouldn’t be shopping for lowest price.

    And the people that do … well … I hope they don’t spring leaks 🙂

  2. Thanks for your comments, Peter. I think calling a prospect on shopping for price is a great device and differentiator. I would say strait away in the first meeting, “Do you realize we are not the cheapest?”

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  4. Ed, right on target with this article. I wrote an article using the specific example of how Microsoft Business Solutions is taking the very odd line of thought that all of Sage’s customers will jump right over to Dynamics if Microsoft simply gives them some cheap software.

    That’s what I would want to run my business, cheap software. And can they throw in some cheap implementation and training as well? Don’t forget the cheap technical support too. Might as well totally screw my business up!

  5. Ed,
    Interesting that we see this all the time. Recently an employee left and started a MAS company. They cut their rates to around 50% of what we charge. Did some customers move over? Yes, but more picked up the phone and said “Do you know that these people did this? We know they can’t do the job you do so let me mail you their marketing piece so you can see it.” The clients that left were mostly slow payers or BusinessWorks customers that were really on a limited budget that needed to just have a few questions answered and expertise wasn’t the issue.

    In the end, most of the clients you want to have are the clients that value your company, your employees and integrity.

  6. Thanks for the comment and subscribing to the blog.
    Your comment, of course, begs the question, why didn’t you jettison these bad customers earlier? Alternatively, you could have created a lower priced offering to allow them to pay for the level of knowledge they wanted?

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