The Buying 'Nibbles' That Can Cost You a Fortune...

All B2B businesses need to be aware of tactics, techniques and, yes, simply habits used by people buying from them that enhance the buying position and weaken the return that the seller receives from the deal. These ‘nibbles’ as we call them are often so subtle as to be almost invisible unless the seller is very commercially attuned and thereby aware of them.

As an example, when you win a new customer you may well have to give concessions to win that business. Over time the customer will probably ask you to do things for them that are outside your normal supply arrangements. If you do not charge for these additional services, they become the ‘norm’ and it becomes very difficult to charge for them when they are requested again and again.

From the point of view of your business, additional products or services which add value to the overall package can be a low risk opportunity to gain additional profit from the customer – but only if you charge for them.

The problem is that we often pay little attention to our pricing when satisfying these requests for additional services. The best companies that we work with feel no embarrassment and have no problems with charging for everything, using the old adage ‘you can have anything you want as long as you pay for it. It’s amazing how many things are given away unnecessarily in business. A quick review by us of areas where buyer/ buying ‘nibbles’ have regularly been identified by clients shows the following:-

  • Storage of products for delivery as and when the customer wants it
  • Special or rushed deliveries to additional locations
  • Bespoke packaging personalised with the customer’s name/logo
  • Design work on new products
  • Large quantities of samples and mock up designs
  • Frequent service call-outs for engineers
  • Changes to orders and cancellations at short notice
  • Frequent product specification changes
  • Products having to be fully recyclable
  • Extended payment terms
  • Marketing support to help the customers sales process
  • Management information and other data
  • Training and technical assistance

Do some of the above sound familiar?

Many companies have now realised that to maximise profits, they cannot afford to give things away every time the customer asks. We don’t have to give things away just because our competitors do. The problem is that it is much easier to give things away than it is to take them back. Try getting a customer who has paid you on 90 days terms for the last three years to agree to move back to your standard 30 day terms. The simple rule of ‘charging for everything’ is the ideal. In the real world, however, you will find that nearly every department in your business is giving things away that could be charged for.


You need to ask yourself these three key questions:

    1. What additional services do we currently provide to our customers without charge? (You may wish to brainstorm this with colleagues from other departments to come up with a master list).

    2. Which of these items could we realistically now charge for without losing customers or business?

    3. Now pick the best five and estimate how much additional profit you will make from charging for them.

The trick now is to turn theory into action by charging for these five services from tomorrow!

Don’t forget – since you already provide these services for free anything you now charge for will be pure profit as you will not be doing anything new or different.

If you want to make more profit from your business and feel you might benefit from a free, no obligation discussion/ meeting with us, contact us or call us on: 0116 232 5231

Alternatively, contact me directly using the details below.

David Turner

Managing Director

07747 023610

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Who we have worked with: Hallmark Cards, Coca-Cola, Hasbro, Rolls Royce, Sunseeker, Mattel, MicroSoft, Argos, Auto Glym, P&G, Ferranti, FloGas, Lloyds TSB

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