Thursday, February 3, 2011

Give 'Em a Deal, or Give 'Em an Idea?

Early this week, a colleague ( an atypically good manager) was complaining that this blustery winter was wreaking havoc with his advertising supported business. The retailers that he relies on to purchase advertising, are finding their stores empty of customers and so they are tightening their belts, and cutting their ad spend.

"Well you've at identified your problem, now what?," I asked.

"I'm going to offer a great pricing package for an immediate long term commitment," was his response. His strategy to get customers who won't advertise because their customers won't shop for non-essentials during a tough snow fall, was to lower his prices. Here's the message that strategy sends to his advertisers: "My business is way off because your business is way off. So I'm going to cut my price to you so my business will get better."

Now if I'm a retailer approached with this proposal, I'm thinking, "Let's see, I'm getting killed because no one is coming in, but I can get less killed per ad if I take advantage of this seller's problem. "Hey, thanks but no thanks."

Make today the first day of the rest of your business life by telling yourself that every client you ever contact will immediately "get it" that it is him, first, last and always that you serve. Not you and not your boss. Him.

Snow? Everyone is holed up in their homes and no one is going out to buy a new suit, car, washing machine? What's the strategy to get them out and over to my haberdashery, dealership or appliance center?

"Mr. Jones, Automotive News, which no doubt you read, reports that 17% of Americans intend to get a new car this year. Clearly weather like we are experiencing today, will not bring them out to execute that intention.

But, what if you made an extraordinary offer good this snow week only and offered to pick folk up at their homes and drive them back--first come, first served (in your weather prepared vehicle) so they could see the new Altima? And what if while in your showroom they could register to win...etc. etc."

" Mr. Jones you will have an enormous share of voice, because every other dealer has cut his ad spending. Second, those responding to the offer will be Intenders and so you will have a more than fair shot at selling them. And finally, your share of sales to Intenders will improve in what otherwise would have been a nothing week."

What happened here? A conversation about the client's interest took place. He probably listened, and your stock with him went way up.

Great Selling!

Love Your Work and Work Tirelesly
Communicate Honestly and Fearlessly
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