Nov 15 2008

GIANT differences TEETER on brink of food war!

When you can offer customers 


a clear differential, do it! 


     I know most men shy away from grocery shopping, but I’ve always enjoyed it.  I like seeing what’s new . . . products, services, promotions, packaging, pricing, fresh offerings (fish, meat, deli, bakery, produce). 

     I am what market researchers refer to as a “high tryer” for new and different items, especially those that never made it to THE list because they were considered too new and different by the List Boss! 

     Besides, when I tag along, I can also see firsthand all the wonderful savings most men only get to hear about (as in, “I saved over $50 on groceries today because I had my coupons and was able to get 437 twenty-four-packs of paper towels that were on sale!”)

     So, anyway, as I walked ten feet inside the front door of GIANT Supermarket, that has purportedly been losing customers to the new more upscale HARRIS TEETER supermarket down the street that caters to Yuppiedom descendents, I was confronted by a display of sorts featuring two shopping carts. 

     One cart was labeled GIANT.  It was filled to the brim with food products and accompanied by an actual GIANT itemized cash register receipt (under a heavy plastic lid covering the cart) for some total amount like $97. 

     Next to that was a second shopping cart labeled HARRIS TEETER that displayed the same products as cart #1, but was accompanied by an actual HARRIS TEETER itemized cash register receipt (same date as the GIANT receipt) for some total amount like $155. The amounts are likely wrong, but the impression was not. 

     When you can offer customers a clear differential, do it! 

     Even though I guess I knew there were significant price differences between the two supermarkets, and often would go to the more expensive one anyway just because I liked the atmosphere there, I must confess I haven’t forgotten this little piece of GIANT supermarket showmanship, and am now forced to question my own sanity for spending so much more for the same products. 

     Now I realize, the display –of necessity– was mostly dry packaged goods.  It would, after all, be a bit hard on both customers and staff, if the carts included week-old fish or ice cream or black bananas and gray hamburger for example, but it didn’t matter.  Like taking a called third strike that’s right down the middle of the plate: you have to accept it and walk away without arguing.  There was no arguing with this display.  It did it’s job. 

     When you show customers a fair and balanced, objective and clear differential, with an emotional trigger (wallet and pocketbook contents!), you win! 

     Oh, in case you forgot, by the way, thinking and acting like a winner is a choice!  Halalpiar

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Nov 12 2008

Economizing Doesn’t Make Money! SALES Make Money! (Trenchcoat Techniques)

No one ever made dollars


by pinching pennies!  


     Business reports are flooded these days with news of companies cutting, trimming, slicing, saving, searching, eliminating, conserving, consolidating, closing, and filing.  Enough already! 

     STOP worrying and making yourself crazy!  If you own or run a business, keep this thought on your front burner:  NO ONE ever made dollars by pinching pennies!  

     Your business can only survive, grow, and make money by making sales.  Yeah, you say, well that’s not so easy when people are using Gorilla Glue on their wallet pockets and purse clasps.  (Wow! Try saying those last two words three times fast!)  But, you know what?  It IS easy if:

  • A) you CHOOSE for it to be easy (since all behavior is a choice!), and
  • B) you concentrate hard on using empathy by putting yourself in your prospect’s shoes, by listening carefully to what your prospect says is important to her or him, and by emphasizing the benefits (instead of features) that specifically and directly address the issues and concerns that you hear expressed. 

     Gently and pleasantly “sizing up” the prospect and the situation accurately is the first and often most important step in making a sale.  You need to clear away other thoughts and concentrate on being a friendly detective.  You’ll never catch a ball that’s hit to you if you’re thinking about your next vacation, or last night!

     Pretend you’ve been hired by the prospect to work together on the same side of the desk to help him or her make a buying decision that will be beneficial (and hopefully “smart”) . . . one that truly provides the benefits the prospect seeks, which you’ll know from A) and B) above . . . one that paves the way for building a long-term relationship and repeat sales.  

     Overcoming objections can be critical as well. 

     People will not always say what’s on their minds, but –aaaaah– you know “The Columbo Technique” because you’ve seen the old TV series, right?  Forever trenchcoated Detective Columbo was famous for his last-minute stepping back in through a door he was closing as he was leaving a suspect behind, where he would disarmingly lean back in and say something like, “Oh, by the way, I was just curious about something: now that the murder is practically solved, would you mind telling me the real reason you hated your boss?” 

     The prospect is getting ready to leave, and you turn to say thank you for her or his time and attention, and “By the way, now that you’ve made it clear you really don’t want this particular model we’ve been discussing, would you mind telling me the real reason for your decision?”

     Why is it important to know this missing piece?  Because when you know the real reason for the “NO” you know where to focus your energy and attention.  When someone says he or she wants a practical vehicle that can be used with both family and work needs, you then know where to channel your discussion.  Forget about price.  Forget about fuel economy.  Forget about leather interiors.   

     It’s not that these are not important features; it is that they are blocking you from concentrating on what is truly important to this particular prospect: space and convenience. 

     The person is looking for quick, easy, convertable space that passengers will find comfortable, but that changed-over, will accommodate tools or files—or whatever work needs you heard mentioned when you asked about the individual’s job in B) above. 

     The goal throughout this process is to speak 20% of the time and listen 80%.  The results will speak for themselves with sales instead of savings.  Halalpiar        

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