When the going gets tough, the tough get going – especially in business. So what are you doing to differentiate yourself from other businesses in the same game? There is always a tendency to start competing on price when you are clamouring for every little bit of business. But you have to resist that urge. Why? Because discounting is a hard cost, and it only puts you under more pressure to sell more to recoup what you lose on the top line.
A far better strategy is to look at ways to add value. Because when you do that you are using what is called a soft cost i.e. the cost to you is far less than the value to the customer.
So here are a few ideas.
- What can you offer in the way of a free trial, a free consultation, a free analysis, a free proposal or a free offer that your business may have available?
Anything that is free is a sure fire way to grab people’s attention. But make sure that it has value to your prospect. No point in offering something that is readily available elsewhere.
- What is your guarantee? What are you going to do to make sure you deliver to your customers, provide peace of mind and minimise the risk?
Guarantees are a great selling tool, and can set you streets apart from your competitors. Like the plumber who guarantees to turn up on time, or you don’t pay; or the dentist who offers pain free extraction – things that mean a lot to your customer but don’t cost you anything.
- What service and back up do you provide? Do you have a maintenance fleet? Are your technicians available instantly?
After sales service is a rarity these days and if you can offer (say) a free follow up system, or check up after 6 months, not only will you get a sale but probably some flow on sales from the follow up.
- Can you offer a deal on a sequence of items purchased?
Somebody buying a gas hob, for example may well be doing up their entire kitchen. So what can you offer on the dishwasher, the oven, the waste disposal unit – and so on. This can apply to any business, and although akin to discounting, it doesn’t kick in until you have more sales under your belt.
I have only scratched the surface, but those points alone will assist you to elevate your business above the rest. Next issue of Profit Speak, I will give you another four ideas on how to add value. But if you can’t wait till then, maybe you would like to bounce some ideas around with me. If so, just give me a call. I would love to be your sounding board.