author of: "More Loyal Customers: 21 Real World Lessons to Keep Your
Customers Coming Back"
Kevin Stirtz helps companies increase revenue and
profits by improving customer loyalty, customer retention and referrals.
Kevin has started and grown many businesses in his career. As a
consultant and trainer, he has experience with manufacturing, service
and retail companies of all sizes. He is a certified trainer,
consultant, published author and professional speaker. Kevin graduated
from the University of Minnesota. He is regularly quoted by
publications such as Business Week, Smart Money, the Boston Globe and
the Minneapolis StarTribune.
1. Label your
Use true but
unflattering labels to position your competition as a less desirable
vendor than your company. For instance, a
larger competitor might be headquartered in another state or country. If
your prospect values doing business locally, you label your big competitor
as that out of state company. If you have a smaller competitor that
works out of their home, maybe you label them as a "home business".
The purpose here is not
to "slam" your competition (even though they might deserve it!). Your
purpose is to position your company as a better choice in the eyes of your
prospect or customer. Your true but unflattering label should bring to the
surface information or traits about your competition that your prospect
might find undesirable.
Remember, the customer buys based
on their perception. They will develop a perception of you and your
competition one way or another. You can influence their perception by
labeling your competition.
2. Educate your prospect
The more you help them
understand about the service or product they re buying, the better
decision they can make. Find ways to educate them. People often pick a
lower priced product or service because they can t see the differences.
Show them the differences by educating them.
Some ways to educate them:
- Non-selling articles and white papers
- Tests, research, reports
- Tours of your facilities
Be careful that your educating efforts are not thinly disguised sales
efforts. People know the difference. When you offer to educate but you try
to sell instead, you chase people away. They will not trust you because
you've misled them. Don't sell when you're trying to educate!
3. Deliver a better
The experience your
customer has with you and your company matters more than price. Make sure
your company is doing everything right and make sure you know what they
want from you. Find out by asking them. Ask, listen and repeat until you
are 100% certain you know (and they know) what they want. Then tell them
what you can do for them and how it helps them get what they want.
Delivering a better
experience means doing what your customers want and expect and more.
Meet their expectations
and then go beyond them. Surprise them in a good way. It doesn t mean
being crazy or zany. It means helping them get what they want and then
some. It means helping them discover what they want. It means showing them
you want to help them and you can help them better than anyone else.
You won't always win with a
higher price. Sometimes people really do want the lowest price. That's
okay. If you offer more than low price then you want customers who value
more than a low price.
Most people who say they want a low price are really saying:
"I want what I want, but at the lowest price I can
That's different than offering them the lowest price. Because the absolute
lowest price product or service provider might not offer them exactly what
Help your customers get what they
want, all day every day. Do that and you make your low price competitors
irrelevant. You take them out of the game. They become someone else's
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