Using innovation to grow your business, while remaining faithful to your original ideals and customers, will ensure you stay ahead of the competition, writes Dorry Kordahi.
Q: How can you disqualify the competition, redefine the standards and change the decision criteria in the way customers buy?
A: I think what you are asking is a very smart question and one that all sensible businesspeople should ask themselves on a regular basis.
In essence, it means how does a business- person or company keep fresh and relevant?
I think the basic answer is that it is all about educating the customer about what is possible and what is not.
For instance, when I first started in business, most customers – even the very large companies – thought of promotional products as cheap and disposable. I found this completely at odds with the purpose of having them in the first place.
Why would you want a tacky product with your company’s name on it?
So right from the start I pitched my business differently from my competitors – most of whom simply used stock service catalogue products and no imagination.
What I did was get my customers to understand that my company could take a lot of work off them by taking a brief from them, creating a unique product concept and then sourcing that concept directly with an off-shore factory as a finished product. So not only did they have something really special, they usually saved money as well.
1. Service: An absolute must for me is prompt and polite customer service.
2. Value for money: Remember, the lowest price is not always the best value for money.
3. Quality: Good quality products last longer and stay in the marketplace longer. Quality has a definite impact on value for money
So, for a very simple example of how this could work: if you can combine all of the above;,the scenario for your sales pitch could be something like this:
“For 30% more, the premiums I am offering you are a unique design which will be remembered, are better quality so will last for one year in normal use, and we can airfreight them in at no extra charge; none of which Company A is offering. Furthermore, if you pay COD I will give you a 3% discount.”
If Company A is selling a premium for say $1 but with none of the above value additions, but your more expensive offering has them all, on the hypothesis that Company A would supply the customer 2,000 units a year, you can clearly show that you are actually saving them $700 per annum. This is even though their initial outlay is slightly more, because they will only need to order 1,000 units a year of your pen.
It’s a pretty good point of difference.
But let me extrapolate that a little. From this single transaction you may well have done a lot more than just won a single sale, if you are prepared to exploit it…
Excerpted from an article originally published in the Sep/Oct 2013 issue of Think & Grow Rich Inc. magazine. If you are a subscriber to Think & Grow Rich Inc. magazine, you will receive this article in your Sep/Oct 2013 issue of TGR. If you are not a subscriber, click here to subscribe.
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