Monthly Archives: February 2011
THANKS, I’LL GET BACK TO YOU
Most shoppers are looking for the best price. No one wants to pay too much. But unless they enjoy shopping, most folks would rather be doing something else. The truth is, prices for most products and services are pretty much the same from one company to another. Yet, how many times have you presented your product or service to a prospect only to be told, “thanks, I’ll get back to you”. As we all know, that’s code for let me check around for a better price.
WHY DIDN’T YOU GIVE ME THAT PRICE TO BEGIN WITH?
In frustration, I have seen many business owners advertise “WE’LL BEAT ANY PRICE BY 5% OR MORE!”. Does that tactic ever work? Are prospects going to spend time getting written estimates to present to you so you can beat someone else’s price? Or will they think to themselves, why didn’t you give me this price to begin with?
HAVE YOU BEEN SHOPPING?
Why not confront the price issue head on? Ask the prospect: “Have You Been Shopping?”
If he answers: “YES”
Then ask him “How does my price compare?” If your price is much higher there can be 2 reasons:
1- The prospect is not comparing “apples with apples” and you’ve got an opportunity to straighten him out.
2- Your prices really are higher. If so you better address that fact.
If he answers: “NO”
Assume that he is going to. You should inform the prospect that most reputable providers of your product or service have very similar prices and that he shouldn’t make his choice based on price alone.
IF NOT PRICE, THEN WHAT?
With either of the above answers, you need to finish your presentation with the reason that the client should do business with you. Your “Claim To Fame” or whatever makes your offering unique and better than the competition.
If you can’t define what makes you better than the rest, in real terms, then you may be doomed to suffer the horrible fate of always being at the mercy of those price shoppers.
DON’T GET MAD, CHANGE THE SUBJECT
By the way, don’t get upset with price shoppers. Chance are you are a price shopper too. Everyone starts out comparing prices until someone challenges that notion and gets them to compare features and benefits.
HERE’S HOW WE HANDLE “SHOPPERS”
We try to get prospects to go to this page on our website – it addresses the price issue. Check it out: CLICK HERE
I was watching TV the other night and a commercial came on for a local dentist. Nothing fancy, it showed the dentist speaking to the viewers. “Are you tired of loose dentures?” he asked. Then he continued: “I can turn those loose dentures into a permanent bridge in just one day”.
You might be thinking, okay, what is so remarkable about that TV commercial? If you saw it, you probably wouldn’t have remembered it. Well, I think it was terrific, the perfect example of how speaking to one person instead of many can result in an ad that really delivers results.
He spoke to a “Target Profile” instead of a “Target Audience”. What is the difference? Let’s define both starting with the Target Audience. The Target Audience includes everyone within the range of the television commercial who cares about good oral hygiene. That’s a lot of people. Including those of different age or economic groups. It would also include folks with different dental problems and even those with healthy teeth. A commercial that appeals to all of them will have to be pretty broad based and not specific.
Now let’s evaluate the commercial I saw that focused on a Target Profile. The dentist was speaking to someone who wears dentures, someone who has problems with his dentures, someone who is probably older, someone who probably can’t afford a more expensive solution like dental implants and someone who is ready to switch to a new dentist. It’s almost as though the TV spot was written for one patient instead of everybody. It was. That’s the way to create an effect advertisement.
In reality there are probably lots of others who share the specific problem outlined in the commercial. Maybe 10% of the total number watching the commercial. How about the other 90%? The other 90% of the viewers won’t be interested. The good news is that the total audience is this case was probably about 175,000 local viewers (a popular show on a cable channel), so 10% means 17,500 prospects. The dentist only needs a small percentage of that “Target Profile” to generate more business than he can handle.
Let’s review. The dentist could have produced a generic ad, containing a laundry list of services that would have spoken to his entire target audience. In doing so he would have come across looking like hundreds of other dentists in the area. Instead, he made his practice unique by targeting a specific client profile and creating a TV spot that was very compelling to that profile.
The same approach can be used with direct mail or any other media you may be considering. What is your niche? Define it and then “Speak to One Instead of Many”.
In the current economy, many business owners are wondering what to do to maintain and hopefully increase sales. The obvious solution is to advertise. Even some established businesses that have relied on word or mouth or reputation in the past, are considering some type of an advertising campaign. If you are one of them, regardless what media you choose, there is one word you should remember: “COMMITMENT”.
Remember, most advertising media works. TV, radio, direct mail, newspapers, billboards, door hangers, etc may be new methods of advertising for your business, but they have been proven effective for thousands of others. Of course, some media choices for your particular business are better than others. You’ve got to do some research, evaluate costs and your budget, and then make a choice. Chances are you will make the right one.
Choosing which media to use is only the first step. After you launch your campaign, you have to evaluate the “R O I” (Return On Investment). Yes, advertising is an investment, and like many investments, it may take a little time for your investment to pay off. True, sometimes, advertising may seem more like a visit to a casino. You make a bet and once in a while luck is on your side. Smart businessmen try to avoid that hit and miss cycle.
So what is the answer? Commitment! Stick with it. Advertising is hard. It is a process. You have to advertise, carefully evaluate the results, fine tune your campaign and then try it again. That is the hard part. It may seem as though you are putting good money after bad. But remember, it is an “investment”. Don’t cut your losses and run after just one try. Even if no one responds to your advertising, that is still a result. Obviously not the result you were hoping for, but a result just the same. Poor or no response can reveal things about your prices, your competition even your reputation if you are honest with yourself.
A last word caution. When shopping for advertising (or anything else for that matter) don’t use price as your only consideration. If you are not an expert in the field, then find a supplier that can educate you as well as provide the product or service you are seeking. Getting the right advice can be priceless!