Someone will always do it cheaper

Selling against cheaper competitors

Bumping up against a cheaper competitor, especially in tighter economic times, is a fact of life. Hoping it won’t happen isn’t a good strategy to deal with the problem. What you need to do is take proactive steps to differentiate your business in the minds of the customer, because if you can’t express logical reasons why your offer is better, the customer only has one point of differentiation to guide them…..the price.

The key to doing that is making certain that the customer — not your service or company — is the core of all your sales messages and make sure that there are financial proof-points. Here’s what you do:

Interior Design as a Value-Add

I have a guest post for you this time from Natasha Bozic, an interior designer in my network group. Builders in particular should consider adding in an interior design service to what they offer to clients in order to help differentiate themselves from competitors and also deepen the relationship with the potential client. Being married to a builder, Natasha knows the process and how best to fit in. Here’s her story.

How many times it has happened that instead of following your daily schedule and focusing on your construction work, you got caught in long discussions and questions from clients about what paint colour to choose, what is the best floor plan for a bathroom renovation, where to buy certain products for the renovation projects, what colour vanity to choose, what do you think about their tile selection etc? Read more….

niche target

The Power of Niche Marketing

With the construction industry being in a fairly buoyant state at the moment the apparent need to focus on marketing does not seem to be a high priority.  This may appear to be the situation on the surface, but ignoring it can lead to a roller coaster of leads coming in and result in a feast or famine of work in the longer term.  Why not take the opportunity to proactively refine your marketing and provide a solid lead generation machine of your ideal projects?  A corner-stone of this is the strategy of niche marketing.

Niche marketing, or specialization is used by industries of all types because doing a few things with a high level of expertise will bring recognition and a reputation of excellence quicker than doing many things well. Read on to see how you can choose a niche for your business and the benefits it brings.

What Is Your Signature System?

Your “purple cow” is also known as your signature system, your unique selling proposition, or USP.  It is a sentence or phrase that explains what makes you special. It gives your prospects a reason to do business with you rather than your competitors. A good USP that is properly used makes your marketing a lot more effective, because it gives you dominance over a market niche.
It can be one of the most transformational shifts in your business right now and can be done at little or no cost. So how can you do this?

The Discipline of Market Leaders

No company can simultaneously excel at delivering market leading performance in all three value disciplines. This is because each disciplines requires completely different operating processes, different ways of thinking and behaving. When a company choses one ‘lead’ discipline to excel in they are placed to become market leaders.

Conversely, when a company attempts to excel in all three disciplines they become, at best, mediocre at all and will oscillate in the market. Which market discipline is the right one for your company?

Still Using A Spreadsheet to Track Leads?

While spreadsheets are relatively easy to use and widely known, it’s definitely not the most efficient or effective way to collect, analyze, and manage business data, especially if you’re a company that’s hoping to grow in the near future.

There are clear distinctions between the features of a CRM versus a spreadsheet. If you have to manage multiple leads coming in and have a multi-step sales process, using a CRM system may be a step worth taking, and need not cost much.

Are you an Ant or a Grasshopper?

Like the Aesop fable The Ant and the Grasshopper, it is the ant that survives the winter because he spent the nice summer weather gathering food in preparation, while the grasshopper spent his time singing.

That’s the same problem if you have no marketing strategy in place. There is a habit of many business owners in the trades to just take what the market dishes up and not put some proactive systems in place to generate work. “I get all my work from word-of-mouth”. That’s great when WoM is working, but what if it isn’t? What’s the back-up plan? Usually there is none. This is particularly true when you are busy, or the market is stronger and the perceived need to generate leads is less. But as the title of this post suggest, I recommend people to dig the well BEFORE you are thirsty….

How to make your emails look professional

People these days expect your business to have a domain name and a website. An email address like jsmith@yourcompany.co.nz tells people you’re serious about your business. 

Free email services, such as Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo, are great for personal use, but when you use a free email account for business purposes, people will start to doubt your professionalism and credibility.  If you want your prospective clients to take you seriously and you don’t have your own domain name email address, I recommend you….

How to stop wasting money on advertising

There was a classic statement from a company executive I read once (can’t remember who) that said, “I know we waste 50% of the money we spend on advertising, I just don’t know which 50%”.

That might be okay, but not ideal, if you are a big company with a big marketing budget. Most of my clients don’t fall into that category, so I am insistent that money spent of direct advertising is as effective as possible and is intended to generate an action or response by a prospect.