This Will Make You Think Twice About How You Are Perceived

marketing-conceptsOkay. I’ll admit it: I was taken in by the low price advertising of discount super stores.

*  “Deep Discounts” and

*  “Lowest Prices!”

Like many consumers, I had the impression – the perception – that most products were lower in price at the discount warehouse.

Reality

When shopping for a camera, I compared prices at several different sources:

(1.) A discount super store,

(2.) The Internet

(3.) A small, locally-owned camera store.

Surprise

Not only was there a price difference, but a pretty good-sized price difference.

The camera was the same price in the discount store as on the Internet.

But the price at the small local camera store was $20.00 less!

Two different accessories for the camera were also less expensive at the local camera store.

My price perception was very different than the reality.

Added Value

In addition, the clerks in the discount store knew very little about the features of the camera.

But the person in the local camera store not only told me everything I needed to know about it, he gave me a demonstration and showed me how to use the camera.

Even if the price had been the same or higher, I felt there was a lot more value attached to buying the camera at the local store.

How Are You Perceived?

How do your customers feel about your company?

What is their perception?

Do they really understand the value you offer?

When buyers compare your products and services to discount stores, are they comparing apples to oranges?

Do they know that when they do business with your company, they will be getting much more than just good products?

In the camera-shopping situation, I could have shopped only at the discount store.

But because of the lack of product knowledge available in the discount store, I looked for value and found it at the locally-owned camera store.

The local store does not advertise the extra benefits they offer: locally-owned business, personal service, product knowledge, competitive pricing.

Getting the Word Out

If your customers are not aware that you offer much more than just products, they may shop elsewhere.

If they think price is the only difference between you and your competitors, there may not be much incentive to buy from you.

Using telephone, email, face-to-face and direct-mail marketing that focuses on value, benefits and solutions, will increase customers’ perception that they will gain something more important than just products when they do business with you.

You Don’t Have to be Cheaper to Win Clients

Mercedes_Benz_Classe_E_dsc06449Here is a fact for you:

You need to be better than each of your competitors in at least three ways if you want to survive.

This does not mean your products or services need to be cheaper.

But . . . what happens if a competitor undercuts you and offers your customer a lower price on the same product?

True story:

It happens to the best of sales people, just the way it happened to Jennifer.

She made the telephone call, scheduled the appointment and everything seemed to go well.

She wrote a thank-you note after the first appointment and then made a follow-up telephone call to the client.

The client wanted a demo. The demo was a success.

The client asked for a proposal.

Wow!

Time to celebrate.

But then something unexpected happened.

After all of Jennifer’s hard work, the prospect took her proposal to a competitor and was able to get a better price.

The client bought from the competitor.

Ouch.  That really hurt.

What happened?

How could this have been prevented?

Three Ways to Avoid Being Undercut by a Competitor

  1. Begin at the very beginning of the relationship to build true customer loyalty.

Go here to see an example of how a dedicated sales rep was able to build awesome customer loyalty (with me as the buyer).

And simple efforts can make all the difference—world-class customer service, for example, will entice many customers to pay your price.

Thoughtfulness, like sending holiday cards and/or gifts will cause your customers to feel that you really care instead of feeling that you just want to make a sale.

Keep in touch with customers and prospects using . . .direct mail.  Yes; you read that right.

Today with millions of emails flying back and forth, receiving an actual letter by postal mail from a company you have done business with is impressive.

Click here to get 63 effective pre-written business and marketing letters you can copy and paste so you can easily keep in touch.

See the table of contents on this page.

Building customer loyalty is not about being perfect but being authentic and keeping in touch.

And I promise you this:

Your clients will love you when you use these 4 words that show you are thinking of them.

2. Find ways to differentiate yourself.  Add value to your products and services.

Customer-perceived value is the difference between a prospective customer’s evaluation of the benefits and costs of your product when compared with others.

  1. Use your Unique Sales Proposition (USP). It is the thing that makes your business different from anything else out there – the reason customers will buy from you and not from your competitors. Identify and plan at least three clear USPs that define exactly what you offer that your competitors don’t provide.

USPs must be true to your business vision – and, in turn, everything your business does sticks to your USPs. Clients can relate to your product, the way you deliver your service or the way you run your business. Do market research to make sure your USPs are unique.

Stay in touch with prospects and customers using direct mail (real letters) and you will begin seeing an increase in customer loyalty.purchase-marketing-letters2

Click here to get 63 effective business and marketing letters you can copy and paste – and use as emails – so you can easily stay in touch with prospects and customers.