You need to provide value to those that you’re working with otherwise you will not succeed. This seems so simple yet so many people disregard it. How are you providing value to your customer? If you don’t have a clear answer for that question, you better figure it out. Customers are getting even pickier now and are buying even less. What makes you stand out from the competition.
In the hey day of spending and consumption, you didn’t have to watch out for your customer as much as you do now. You had a product, people were probably going to buy it because everyone was buying. You could be rude, you could not really innovate and you could still succeed on some level. Those days are over my friend. Today you better be able to explain to your customer why they should work with you or why they should buy your product.
The singe biggest thing that people try to do when they want to set themselves apart on business is to compete on price. This is the single hardest item to compete on with consumers and you better have vast resources, processes, and technology at hand (think WalMart). There is almost always someone out there that is willing to take less of a profit, is willing to work with less overhead, and is willing to figure out how to produce, ship, and market their product cheaper than you. My advice for you is to have a competitive price but don’t compete on price. In other words, you can still have a reasonable price but add value to your customer in other ways.
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in. Customer service matters. If my company sells you a house in Detroit, we need to make sure that we are in contact with you to make sure that you understand everything about the purchase, that the transaction runs smoothly, that we’re available for any questions you might have, and that we’re there to help you with any challenges you might have. If you’ve ever worked with him, you’ll see that Drew Sygit with The Lending Edge is very good at this.
Extra Added Benefits
Are you just providing what everyone else provides or are you adding in extras that make your product or service a must buy for your customer? If you’re selling a house, are you just selling them the house? Why not add in extras like a rehab estimate, a desktop appraisal, all of the pictures of the house you took, a checklist you took of the house, video, a free eBook of exit strategies or managing rehabs in the City you sold them the house, and contacts to contractors, Realtors, appraisers, property management companies and anything else they would need. Why not send them a gift basket congratulating them on their purchase? What can you provide your customer to make them feel like they got the best deal ever and that they would never buy from anyone else again? Note that all of this doesn’t have you competing on price.
We’re in a challenging market but that doesn’t mean it has to be a bad market for YOU! Entrepreneurs and innovators thrive in markets where everyone else says you can’t make money. By the time the public as a whole sees that the economy is turning around and that it’s a good time to start a business or invest in real estate, you will be dominating the market. I’m not talking about any big radical ideas here. These are sound business practices that top businesses use every day. When are you going to start?