“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” – Roger Staubach
With an 18 month old daughter… who is now very mobile… and a second child on the way, my wife and I decided it was time to fence in our yard for both their safety and our sanity. So we started to solicit estimates from a few vendors. Much to our dismay the prices for what appeared to be comparable fences varied by over $2000. Unfortunately for the vendors, there was little if any differentiation between them. They asked too few questions and made too few recommendations and essentially positioned themselves to compete on price. In my opinion, the worst positioning a small business can take!
So as responsible and mindful consumers what did we do? While we didn’t hire the lowest price vendor, we did however ask the one that gave us the best warm and fuzzy feeling to at least come close to the lowest price. We don’t mind paying a few extra dollars for that warm and fuzzy feeling, even among the current state of the economy. And my guess is that many other consumers feel the same.
My suggestion… avoid this scenario for your business at all costs! Don’t position yourself for a price war. Stand out!
How? It’s simple… Be willing to do the little things that your competition is either unwilling or too lazy to do.
Why? Because it’s the little things that make all the difference! It’s the little things that show you actually care! It’s the little things that justify your existence and your fees! It’s the little things that get you hired!
We’re not talking about breaking the bank here. If you put just a little creative thought into this, there are literally dozens of little things you could do to out-class the competition. For example:
- Provide your prospect with a tips sheet on selecting the best vendor and/or solution.
- Educate your prospect on any unforeseeable hiccups they may experience in the buying process (e.g. special permits and variances they may need to move forward, other expenses, etc.).
- Provide price quotes from and/or public information about a few of your competitors to show how you clearly are the best choice. I don’t mean bad mouth your competition. Just stick to the facts and point out the differences between the companies that seem to matter to your target market most.
And don’t forget your current clients!
And to keep your existing clients happily paying your fees, you can model…
- A chiropractor who buys balloons and sings Happy Birthday to his patients.
- Cleaning companies who leaves mints on your pillows and fun animal shapes out of a towel at the foot of your bed when their done cleaning your home.
- The landscaper that provides you with great time-saving and beautification tips for your yard.
Sounds so simple right? Yet so few small businesses do these little over and above gestures. These little gems are examples of great marketing!
I’d be willing to bet that most customers of these vendors won’t be so concerned if their prices were a few dollars more.
The bottom line… Be remarkable among an unremarkable world! Do that and you most certainly won’t be competing on price any longer.
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