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We live in a competitive world where every day millions of people are starting new businesses and selling products. You are probably wondering, with all that noise how do we get heard? You need to one thing. You must separate yourself from your competition. How? I am watcher. OK a business stalker (just kidding) and I have observed several people and companies I noticed they have a few things in common. They are:
1. Your product or service must save your customers time. Time is the world’s most valuable resource. Reality is that we gain and lose money, but you can’t get back time. If you create a product or service that reduces the time wasted on menial tasks, you can make millions. Take a look at major cleaning companies like Merry Maids. They created a system that took cleaning off of the customers hands while maximizing their efficiency and effectiveness. ServiceMaster owns and franchises the company. Incredible!
2. Your product or service must save the customer money. Money is a valuable resource. Few people have it and many people want it. If you want people to buy your product, you must save them money. How can your business save customers money? Reduce the cost of labor, shipping and find other economical ways to pass the savings on to your customers. Regardless of how we feel, that’s exactly what Walmart does. Walmart is one of the world’s most successful companies.
3. Reduce your customer’s labor. People are already overworked and underpaid. The less work the better. Need I say more?
4. Make sure your product or service makes your customer’s life easier. If your product or service can make someone else’s life easier, you are completely separating yourself from the competition. Heck, even some spouses can’t do that. Don’t believe me? Take a look at Uber. Instead of calling a taxi, especially if you are out-of-town, all you have to do is use an app. You can schedule the time, date and even prepay for your ride. It doesn’t get any better than that.
5. Make people feel better about themselves. We live in an insecure world where we are constantly bombarded with messages telling us we’re not good enough. Take advantage of this. The beauty industry tears people down to lift them up with of course, their product. If your product or service can make people feel better, your bank account will look better too.
6. Address a need. Take a look at demographics or services that are being ignored. If you can fill a void, you can dominate a space and have loyal customers for life. A great example is Tyler Perry. Love him or hate him, the man saw Black theater goers being ignored. He wrote and directed plays and later movies for them. Now he owns a studio, is on TV and has a very loyal following. Recognizing this need has made him millions.
7. Tell a story. Selling a product is no longer about plain old selling or telling the customer to buy your product. Your product has to show how it improved someone else’s life. How? That’s where reviews come in. If someone leaves a positive & emotional review contact that person and tell their story. Connecting an experience to your product will bring in more money and loyal customers than a pushy sales person or a standard ad. It is cheaper too. One of the best examples I’ve seen are the Dove ads. We know Dove sells soap, but the ad below sells an emotional connection and experience.
It had nothing to do with soap, but had everything to do with boosting our self-esteem. Now every time we see Dove we will connect it to boosting our self-esteem and making us feel beautiful. Who doesn’t want to feel beautiful?
8. Create a culture and community. How? Look at Starbucks! Instead of asking for a large, you ask for a “vendi.” It is totally made up, but it creates connection with your customers. It is like only you and the customer are insiders and everyone else is an outsider. Guess what? Only Starbucks customers know what a vanilla bean fraps is.
9. Make your customers passionate disciples about your products. Apple, in my opinion, has the most passionate costumers. People will spend hundreds to thousands of dollars to purchase products that cost only a few bucks to make. They will spend precious minutes, hours and even days in all kinds of weather waiting for a product to drop. Jeeze! How can we make people passionate? As I said above, create a culture, connection and community around your product. When your product does drop create suspense and titillate your customers. I am telling you it works.
10. Make your product a display of status. Everyone wants people to know they are important. That’s why people buy luxury cars instead of affordable midsize ones. Make your product the same way. How? Pitch your product or service as a quality product that is worth the investment. Maybe a product or service only elites use. Trust me. It will sell. There is a company (that shall remain nameless because y’all would be mad) that first sold their jeans for $30. Units moved, but it wasn’t until they charged over $100 for their jeans their jeans became super popular. Learn from this. Status sells.
11. Create a reliance on your product. You do this by exclusively selling supplemental products. What is an example of a supplemental product? The Kindle! It is an accessory. You many not think so, but it is. We may buy a Kindle once; however, to use that Kindle we must buy books, movies, games and even music for it. Most of us are spending five to ten times more on music, books and movies than what we did on a Kindle. Because Amazon exclusively sells the Kindle, it continues dominates the market in books. If you do it the benefit is you can easily eliminate your competition. If they survive and try to catch up, you have already moved on to the latest version of your product.
12. Separate yourself by going the extra mile. I am not saying offer free stuff which takes money from your business, but I am saying focus on the tiny details. Check out Victoria Secret. When it is checkout time most companies throw products in a paper bag and send customers on their way. Instead VS makes it an experience. They elegantly wrap the item tissue paper in front of their customer with it company’s logo on it. Think about doing the same. If that costs too much, why not wrap it in tissue paper of your company’s colors? Think about adding thank you card. The small things show that you value your products and your customers.
You don’t have to be the first. Be better. I mean this with all of my heart. When businesses get lazy they fall in to the bad habits of poor customer service and low quality products. They forget about the culture they’ve created and instead focus solely on the profit. Companies do this without realizing without the culture, language, and needs of the customer are what got them where they are today. Don’t be that company! Instead that’s where you come in. Study the competition. Find out what they are doing wrong and then do it right, be much more efficient, offer an experience and of course high quality customer service. That’s how you will stand out.
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Thanks for reading. The only limit you have is the one you have placed on yourself. Think and be limitless.