How do we “sell” quality?

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ASQ recently introduced a topic on their blog regarding “selling” quality.  Paul Borawski, ASQ’s CEO, does a good job considering the hurdles faced when discussing quality buy-in from key decision-makers.

Jennifer Stepniowski, Pro QC’s Special Project Manager, responded as an ASQ Influential Voice and raises a few successful suggestions, including walking the walk, focusing on the benefits, being knowledgeable and adapting to your audience.

Michael L. Hetzel, Pro QC’s VP/Americas, also provided some insight into how he “sells” quality:

One would think that in 2012 everyone would understand that quality is an investment, with a measurable ROI, rather than an expense.  Unfortunately, this is not the case and there’s still tremendous inertia towards characterizing quality as an overhead expense.

In order to “sell” quality, we have to educate decision makers on the investment value of quality management activities and how to identify the return on the investment.  For decision makers who are not quality management professionals, it’s an educational process conveying a value proposition related to the results rather than a selling process describing the technical aspects of quality management activities.

Once they can identify the ROI, the decision makers become motivated by the self interest of their enterprise performance opportunities and “buy in to quality”.

What do you think? How do you “sell” quality?  Or, in other words, how do you inform and persuade others about the benefits of quality and the negative impact of failure to incorporate continuous improvement and quality initiatives from top-down?

As Paul suggests, “quality is important and an essential strategy for performance excellence, competitiveness, growth, sustainability, survival, efficiency, effectiveness.”  It’s important that we take every opportunity to educate others and assist them in the process of ensuring quality as a standard.

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