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Get Offensive

Posted On - 20/03/2013 13:09:13

This workshop makes the case independents need to adopt a far more assertive - even aggressive - approach to their marketing. This means making far stronger points around 'selling' expertise, knowedge, trustworthiness etc. It also means making comparisons and pointing out weaknesses in the products and services of the Big Guys. Without these activities, the public won't realise the difference and won't opt for you.

Part 1: Summary of the previous two sessions - "The Price Myth" and "Wipe the Floor"

Summary of "The Price Myth" and "Wipe the Floor"
"Shattering the Price Myth": price isn't everything because there are many reasons behind why people choose to shop where they do. Being the "cheapest in town" will destroy the value of your business as it attracts the wrong kinds of customers and a spiral of ever lower prices. Due to their huge costs the Big Multiples mark up an average 100%. So coupled with even 20% purchase price advantage independents price match with a mark up of as much as 60%. Independents can easily compete on price and the results of our Price Comparison prove this also. "Wipe the Floor with the Big Guys": independents have advantages the Big Multiples would kill for. They mimic the expert, knowledge services independents provide but this will fail - they can't afford the right staff. Independents have genuine, tangible competitive advantage over the Big Guys. You have to get to grips with what these things are and use them to your advantage.

Part 2: Introduction to "Get Offensive"

"Get Offensive" - Session Introduction
"Get Offensive" is a stronger message. Time and again I see independents marketing themselves just through some ads and price based promotions. The Big Multiples through loss leaders and heavy marketing are creating a belief that they're better than you. And since there's is the only voice that's heard it's what get believed. Independents need to mount assertive campaigns directing at changing ingrained beliefs. The onus is on independents to prove  they're different and better, not for customers to take the risk in finding out whether they are or not. This session will be all about that.

Part 3: Why do the Big Guys prevail/why don't you get your fair share?

Consumers want You. Why do the Big Guys Prevail?
All the evidence - external surveys and surveys we've done - points to consumers wanting to use you in preference to the Big Guys. Yet they prevail. You have to ask yourselves why. What is it that's stopping them using you more? Is it perceptions that you're only good for repairs? Is it that customers forget you're a retailer? Can a business be built on sales of repairs and new computers alone? Or are there ways to broaden your range to catch more business from your customers and prospects?

Part 4: How to 'Sell' Expertise and Customer Care

How to 'Sell' Expertise and Customer Care
You need to learn how to explain value - to spell out the detail of what you actually do. So a PC Health Check becomes a 20 Point Expert Health Check. And doing this gives people reasons to talk to you 'What's the 20 points?' Take advantage of the poor standards of advice other shops give. Offer to give second opinions. Offer pre-sales advice, in-store demonstrations, and videos of how to do things like set up a router. The list goes on but the issue is this. You can't claim to have expertise or care for customers more than others - because you wouldn't say the opposite. The way to promote these things is through what you do. Selling these things is about creating opportunities where you can show that you're an expert and offer superior care.

Part 5: How to 'Sell' You're Part of Your Community

How to 'Sell' You're Part of Your Community
To "sell" that you are a part of your local community you have to do just that: be a part of it. So local good causes - not the local branch of a major charity - local good causes are a good place to start. And it's not just about dipping into your pocket, sponsoring and getting a badge on your website or shop window. Anyone can do that. People who genuinely care are those who get out and do something. Fundraising. Helping clear the local pond and so on. And the same applies to being part of the business community. Anyone can join a business networking group. It's only those who are right behind the cause of local business that will become a part of the group. Who go out of their way to get on the leadership team or on an organising committee.

Part 6: How to 'Sell' Your Knowledge, Expertise and Approachability

How to 'Sell' Your Knowledge, Expertise and Approachability
"Without doubt there's nothing like this to consolidate your position in your community as a person of merit and trustworthiness. Someone who's worth knowing and who knows about his stuff." So said Peter Butler of PC Clinic Midlands when I asked him the value of giving short talks and advice. Peter has never doubted the value of doing them. What's more he believes they've been crucial in helping him establish his business. Like to find out why? See this session. For more see my blog "Make Money out of Talking."

Part 7: How to 'Sell' Your Price Competitiveness

How to 'Sell' Your Price Competitiveness
In our Shopping Preference surveys with the public, 23% stated (unprompted) price competitiveness as a reason preventing them using you more. (See my blog "What People Really Think About Independent Retail" for the detail.) Yet we know this isn't true - our Price Comparison proves it so. (See my blog "The Target Retail Price Comparison Results" for the detail.) The goal of your marketing has to be to change ingrained beliefs. Price comparisons are the way to point out where you have price advantage. But this is NOT about being the cheapest, it is about being assertive about being best value when you have genuine opportunity to do so.

Part 8: Retail Strategy Basics

Retail Strategy Basics
The hardest step is turning a stranger into a customer. It is easier to sell something of low value to a stranger than it is high - so stock smaller value every day essentials. You'll win more new business this way than by trying to sell them higher value stuff first time. The, once they're a customer you can up-sell to them. They know you better and are more likely to feel comfortable spending greater amounts of money with you.


Part 9: End of Session Summary

"Get Offensive" - End of Session Summary
Small IT Retailers and Resellers need to Market assertively - prevailing beliefs are against you. Your marketing must not just raise awareness it needs to point out differences and spell out how and why you are better. In particular it must absolutely play to the fundemental things shoppers look for in the shops they choose to use. So marketing yourself like this will likely be very different to everything you have done to date. Assert your independence, promote your strengths - the very things the Big Guys are bad at and take the fight to them. They can't respond. They aren't set up or managed to take you on. You have to sell your expertise, advice as well and price competitveness. The onus is on you to communicate you're better.


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