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The Real Extra Mile | Turning Intentions into Competitive Advantage

Posted On - 01/02/2013 09:58:26

Doing great work keeps customers coming back, but as specialist small traders it's also what's expected"We go the extra mile." It's a phrase we've often heard used to explain how Indies win new business. How word-of-mouth brings in new customers. And sure, doing great work keeps customers coming back. But it's also what's expected - after all, you're the specialist, expert small local trader.

So it's not just anticipated you'll deliver, it's the very reason you're considered at all. And if you do what's expected, you've done just that. You've met expectations, not exceeded them. So why would anyone feel moved to tell others? Sure, you're good. But are you special? So special they'd recommend you?

All that effort to go the extra mile just gets you to first base - nothing more. It doesn't mean you shouldn't carry on doing what you do - you have to, it's expected - but you have to get it in proportion. That your great work probably isn't creating the word-of-mouth you think. And you have to spend more time and effort promoting yourselves. As well as getting yourself off what's the 'crack' of relying on others to do it for you.

People choose to shop where they do for many reasons. Things like convenience, range, expertise, trustworthiness to name a few. Price always matters but it's only part of the picture. Yet many of you promote on it exclusively. The problem is by doing so you out your reputation for expertise, quality and service at risk. Plus you miss out on promoting yourselves on everything else. The real concrete things that distinguish you from the chains.

Shoppers don't like taking risks. They hate the prospect of going somewhere to end up dissapointed. And they're sceptical about what you say about yourself. After all you'd never say "come try us out, we're rubbish"! So putting "we go the extra mile" on a leaflet doesn't cut it. And price led adverts all too easily make you look a cowboy.

So just how can you promote yourself in ways prospects feel are genuine and honest? What can you do to to convince prospects you're worth consideration?

The key is to realise nothing you can ever say will convince anyone you're convenient or trustworthy; friendly or will only sell people what's right for them. What you have to do is show them you're these things. What you have to do is give them a glimpse of what they'd experience if they chose you before they actually do. And once they get you're what they're looking for, they'll consider you.

Going the real extra mile is about you making a point out of proving you're worthy of consideration. About showing people, not just printing or saying it. Starting this week, ShopTalk is going to dig deep on this. Visit and read "Consider Yourself | Use Your Natural Competitive Advantages to Win Business" to find out more.

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