Series  |  Briefs  |  Quick tips  |  Basics  |  Other
Retail  |  Marketing  |  Products & Pricing  |  Other

You Can't Win a Fight You Won't Have: Part 2

Posted On - 13/09/2012 11:39:29

Ever heard about a Big Chain giving poor advice? Or incorrectly diagnosing faults?Ever heard about a Big Chain giving poor advice? Or incorrectly diagnosing faults? Many of you have – we've heard the stories. And whilst the Big Chains aren't actually out to dupe customers, the fact it looks like they are is your opportunity. 

They don't - they never will - have the level of expertise and knowledge you have. And they can't focus on building their reputation just in your area.

What you need to do – no - what you really must urgently do, is start showing them up. To start exploiting their "mistakes". The question is how?

What would you do?

Someone you've never met before walks in, laptop in hand. They've no need of it anymore - they've just bought something else. They'd been advised the old one would require a new motherboard - a repair so expensive that for a few quid more they could buy new.

Since they trusted the shop giving the advice – it was a Big Chain why wouldn't they - they did what they were advised. And here they are now, seeing if they can recoup some of their outlay by selling their old, "broken" laptop.

If you do repairs, if you're in the market for refurbishing machines, you'd probably be interested. No?

Happy to help

The laptop gets handed over, you take a quick look. It won't fire up – the motherboard failure means you wouldn't get any sense out of it if you tried. All looks fine, you make an offer, cash changes hands, and off they go. Everyone's happy.

A couple of days later you get round to opening it up. You notice the DC jack has a pin missing. Uh-oh, is it really a motherboard failure? So you buy a new jack to test out your hunch. You fit it and power up the laptop. And in front of your eyes you have - a laptop in perfect working order.

What do you think of first?

The story we've told is based on a post on our customer forum. And we use it not to criticise the person making it or what they did. There's nothing in what happened that's bad or wrong.

No, we're using this story to show how opportunities can be exploited in different ways. And with an opportunity like this - where a Big Chain has messed up – there are ways of making more of them than merely acquiring a working laptop cheaply.

Big is good. No?

Businesses don't get big making mistakes. They get big because they're good, otherwise they'd never have made it, right?

Well, it depends what you consider they have to be good at to get big. The bottom line is this: they've grown big because they're good at putting stores in places with high footfall, good at shifting large volumes of products, good at buying market share, and good at doing all these things using junior low paid staff, commissioned to sell the highest margin products.

Masters of the universe

Not convinced? OK, try this. There is overwhelming evidence – and we've done surveys – the public wants to shop with local independent retailers, not the Big Guys.

Our surveys show the public believes you care more about customers, service and product quality. So why do they continue to shop with them? The public says one thing and does another. Why?

Well, through clever marketing and loss leaders, the Big Guys are far better at making out they're better than you. And this is the nub of it: if there's one thing in particular the Big Guys are good at it's spending a lot of money on telling everyone they're good. They're really very good at building their brand.


But it's not just the public that's been taken in by all this marketing. You have too. How do we know? Because, Indie after Indie we meet says the same: "I can't compete".

The Big Guys have befuddled you into inaction. Inaction to point out not everything they say and do is true. That they give bad advice. That they sell people stuff they don't need. And that they're not the cheapest.

But what's really bad about this is you makes it "open season" for them. So what they have to say is all everyone gets to hear. And that's what they remember. You've got to get much, much better at building YOUR brand.

Please tell us why you dislike this blog article?
Display Name:
Email Address:
Post comment?
I accept the terms and conditions set out here
Down Cancel

You have already signed up to the Shop Talk mailing list



You will receive a confirmation email, please click on the link to confirm your email address.



You have now been added to the Shop Talk blog news mailing list.

Cookie Notification: by clicking accept you acknowledge that are allowing us to use a Cookie on your computer. To read our Cookie policy please view our privacy statment here.