Management Training Sales & Marketing

GPI 027 – If you do not know your competitive advantages, ask your customers — they chose you for a reason so find out why!

In a competitive market, when all products are relatively similar, it is easy to jump on the lowest price bandwagon, but if you do this, you are setting yourself up to look like everyone, with no profit.  You have competitive advantages and you must find out what they are.  You have customers that are buying from you now so ask them questions.  Keep them specific and limited to five to ten, a lower number or else, they cut you off or worse, lie to you to get through the interrogation.

You need to find out where you can create your marketing advantage.  The answer may be lying within one of these examples:

Examples of how you might surpass your competitors:

  1. You deliver faster than anyone.
  2. You have more warehouses logistically spread across the country.
  3. You have better packaging that can be recycled and used or is easier to unwrap or poses a function when products are held on pallets or a warehouse or in boxes, etc.
  4. Your warranty is longer and more comprehensive than your competitors.
  5. Your product is the same as the rest of the field, but it has almost no returns (dependability).
  6. Your product can be ordered with free shipping.
  7. With the purchase of your product, you throw in some freebies that the competition does not have.
  8. Your 800 number is open 24/7 and tells you how much longer the caller must wait in order to talk to a person.
  9. Your product, even though it functionally acts the same, is available in twice as many colors, patterns, sizes and packaging types.
  10. You perform your service for the customer and then, before you leave the customer’s facility, you notify the buyer and ask if there are any questions before leaving.  You leave a list of things to do in the event of any problems.  You leave the buyer feeling no remorse and confident he made a good purchase decision when he called you versus the competition.
  11. Your manual that you provided comes in multiple languages.  Your website can be read in multiple languages.
  12. Your product has a longer shelf life.
  13. Your product is regarded as more ‘green’ than the other products.
  14. Your product is easier to operate, run, turn on, adjust, carry, install or have repaired.
  15. You offer to provide some training to every customer for using, repairing and servicing your product.
  16. You replace bad or defective parts immediately, unlike your competitors.  You send emails with prepaid shipping labels so the customer does not have to pay for the company’s mistakes.
  17. You have some of the best and most knowledgeable sales people in the industry and do not know it.
  18. Customers like it that a human voice answers your company telephone.
  19. You are open conveniently during hours when the competition has gone home.
  20. Your five-point guarantee (example) is to the point, rings with customers, alleviates customers’ fears and concerns and provides enough rationale to the average buyer to justify buying your brand versus the competitor’s.
  21. Your store smells good.
  22. Your store sounds nice (good soothing music, friendly help, easy to get in and get out).
  23. Your store is open more hours than the rest.
  24. Your people are the most knowledgeable.
  25. Your return policy is the best.
  26. Your warranty is the best.

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