The other day my husband and I were out shopping and we passed by the dollar store. Hanging along the store signage, we noticed a sign advertising steak for $1. My husband looked baffled, “That’s disgusting. Who would ever buy $1 steak?” It got me thinking. Ruth’s Chris charges upwards of $40 for a prime steak and the dollar store is selling it for $1. But we all know the difference. We all know the value in what were paying for with prime meat and first class service. But if we know that, why do we continue to discount our own services just to get business?
When it comes to your products or services, no one understands their value better than you. Odds are you’re in business because of your passion for quality products that enrich the lives of those who use them. But in the day to day in running your company, it is easy to focus on sales numbers. Meeting quotas to make payroll, earning commissions, ensuring cash flow- numbers get in the way of your value. With so much pressure and accountability to the operations and sales part of your business, its easy to forget why you started your business to begin with. While there used to be so much reward in the customer, now the pressure to outperform month after month means price cutting, special discounts, marketing to the masses. It’s your own version of dollar steak. What you’ve really accomplished in doing this is turning your product into a commodity. A discount race is a race to the bottom and a sure failure for your organization. You can’t sustain excellent quality and service if you continue to slash your prices. So, how can you rediscover the value in your products and services and focus less on price?
People want information about what they’re purchasing. Impulse buys are rare these days and typically price focused. If you don’t want buyers that narrow down their decision based on price, take the time to educate your prospects. Start on your website, since most buyer research starts there. Your blog shouldn’t just be about your products and services, but the real value behind them. Educate your customers on how their lives could be enriched by your services. Make sure they know the why behind it. Use webinars, ebooks, and emails to continue providing more and more educational resources without spamming. The more information that a customer consumes prior to making their buying decision, the less likely price is to be a factor.
Forget your Competition
You know the people I’m talking about. The ones whose ads you pour over, whose website you have bookmarked. Forget about them. Put them out of your head, because once you begin to focus on education and value, there is no other factor. Your clients and customers will become your evangelists. You will have done them such a favor by introducing your magical services that they’ll wonder how they every survived without you. And they’ll promote you happily. And you’ll never have to consider your competition again. If you remove competition, the only person there is to beat is you. Price is not a factor, there is only focusing on delighting your customers by doing what you do for the reason that you started doing it. Passion has no competition.
Get Picky about your Customers
I know. There are bills to pay. Shouldn’t you take on every bit of business that comes to you? No. You really shouldn’t. You’re hurting your business by taking on every single client or customer that comes to you. Because the truth is it may not be a good fit. Just because they want you, doesn’t mean they are best suited to work with. This applies in particular to Business to Business companies. You’re not always going to have the same mentality or align perfectly with every company you come into contact with. Take some time to develop an ideal buyer profile and stick to it closely. Consider warning signs of unqualified prospects and adhere to your list. In the end both you and your client will be much happier for having done so.
The harsh reality is that no one really wants dollar steak. Educating your prospects in the value of your products and services will do wonders in ensuring that the right business is coming your way. Do yourself a favor, develop content that educates, forget about your competitors and have a very good picture of the types of consumers or companies you want to work with. If you do these things, you’ll stop focusing so closely on value and start to see less prospects asking for discounts on products and services and more customers that love your brand.
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