Use Your Telephone
Virtually every customer now has a cell phone with them at all times.
Give them a call. If they are shopping your price, you may even get them while they’re gathering or reviewing quotes from the competition. This is a great time to tell them something that will make them think:
• I need to reconsider that company.
• No one else offered me that.
• Wow, this is the only person who followed up with me.
• I forgot he told me that, and I want that.
Now, the thing is, all you have to do is tell them you have or will do something the competition does not have or cannot do or will not do. Of course to do this you have to know your competition. Use your product benefits and your company benefits.
Creating Your Uniqueness
In the 70s when I joined my parents in the retail and wholesale tire business, our competition, Firestone and Goodyear, had all the truck tire business — a very profitable business. My father told me to go out and change that.
The first thing I did was sit in front of Firestone and Goodyear and write down all the trucker’s names and telephone numbers. I got them from the doors of their trucks. Then I telephoned them to find out what problems they had doing business with my competition.
I asked, “What do you like best about doing business with Firestone (Goodyear)?” I asked that because I wanted to make sure we were doing what they liked best. Then I asked, to find out the problems, “What do you like least about Firestone (Goodyear)?” They all said the same thing: “The hours they are open. They open at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m.” The very same hours the trucker needs to be out driving their truck making money.
All we had to do was do what the competition could not do or would not do. We started opening at 7 a.m. and closing after 9 p.m. In no time at all, we owned the truck tire business in our marketing area.
Discover what you can do to take customers away from your competition. Put together a list:
1. In column 1, list the problem your customers have.
2. In column 2, list what the competition offers customers to solve their problem.
3. In column 3, create a better unique selling proposition (USP) to handle that problem.
If Low Price Was Always the Determining Factor
• Fast food businesses would only sell the 99 cent items — and would be out of business.
• There would only be low-end buffet restaurants.
• There would be no one playing golf on the weekends when the price is double that of weekdays.
• No one would buy ice cream from ice cream shops. They would only buy it at the grocery store.
• Starbucks would have failed in the first month of business.
• The only businesses that would be in business would be the big discount stores.
• No one would own a backyard swimming pool. They would use community pools.
• Everyone would use public transportation — not drive cars.
• No one would go to the movies; they would download for less.
• Everyone would only buy the low end of the products you sell ... and, of course, that is not happening.
It is not over until you give up. Even if you do not get the sale right away, keep following up with the customer. Use your telephone, fax, email, direct mail, personal visits, etc., to stay in front of them and build the relationship. Keep showing them how they are better off doing business with you and not your competition.
Remember: People shop price, but they buy value. Your unique benefits are the value they buy.