Holidays and the end of the year_combined with an economic recession_offer some revenue possibilities to smaller business owners and managers that may not be immediately apparent. Let us consider advertising first.
The deluge of mega store pre-printed ad circulars and broadcast commercials - replete with HUGE never-before-seen price reductions - are already being stuffed inside newspapers and replacing the political clutter on the airwaves.
Joseph A. Banks clothier for men TV ads feature prices that are simply not believable. When and to whom does this outfit ever sell anything at regular price? My guess? Rarely if ever.
Other big box chains shout P-R-I-C-E and then cover their fannies with paragraphs of qualifiers printed in 2 point type that make actual purchase by real people difficult at best.
The measly 14% of consumers who buy on no other factor than price will have their way and you had better get out of their way when they are grazing for the lowest prices.
I say let the big boxes have these price hawks. Smaller businesses should focus their ad efforts on the remaining 86% of shoppers who seek real value.
Show and tell (about) the TOP of your line products and services.
Sprinkle plenty of benefits (what is in it for me?}in your ad copy. Reinforce what you say and what you print with meaningful verbal assistance at point of purchase.
Toss some genuine enthusiasm into the mix. This recipe will not work for everyone, but your results in general will improve.
When honest down-to-earth benefit ad copy is reinforced with an enthusiastic and informative verbal presentation, good things happen . . . like not only selling your best stuff but also knowing that the buyers will return again and again because they are genuinely pleased with their purchase(s).
There is a second small biz opportunity: trading up. The silent majority (86%) of consumers buy from people who provide solid reasons (benefits) to buy.
If you and your staff are prepared, you can turn benefit talk into profitable sales.
Much easier said than done.
Recently I was shopping for a household appliance. I found my way into a business and a shelf in that business that displayed the item I sought in the standard good-better-best fashion.
The opening price point appliance was $129; the step-up model was $169 and the top of the line $199. Except for the color, all three looked pretty much the same to me.
May I help you?_the young lady asked. The normal reply to this lame question is_No, I am just looking_ but in this case, I really was ready to buy.
What accounts for the difference in prices of these three models?_ I asked. Hesitation . . . silence . . . then a response: (Pointing at the middle of the line product)_This one has more features than the cheapest one.
(Pointing next at the top of the line unit)_This one has the most features of all three. I waited for the explanation of exactly what these features might be . . . how they might benefit me . . . but it never came.
That was it! That was the sum total of the sales pitch!
Sound familiar? The sad fact is that this kind of selling is being tolerated in too many businesses both mega and mini.
The opportunity for the smaller business owner or manager is to set their own standard higher and do the necessary training and follow through to make it happen.
Training and follow-through do not exist in the big box chains.
Mega store managers consume 50% of their time trying to hire warm bodies to replace the ones who do not show up. The other 50% of their time is spent in front of a computer screen dealing with all manner of Emails fired from corporate cubicles in far-away offices by people with strange titles after their names.
Very little time left for training!
Smaller businesses need to lead, coach and train every member of their staff how (benefits) and what to sell (top of the line).
Better yet, they need to provide a monetary incentive for superior performance. They do because 86% of the people who call or come through the door are looking for value and information.
Good information builds confidence. Confidence invites a purchase.
Not easy to do but well worth doing. How many smaller merchants will do it? Try 14%! Be among them.
Bob Schumacher books and articles give entrepreneurs a clear coffee-shop English perspective on how to steer their business or profession into the top 20% who achieve 80% of the business and profits. Visit http://www.RedMeatMarketing.com for a complete directory of his articles and books.