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Sell More Products Than Competitors Without Lowering Prices
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How To Name Your Own Prices
Sell more products than your competitors once you understand this concept.
If you’re seen as the same as a competitor, one of you is already obsolete.
Many times what one business offers isn’t substantially different than what a competitive business offers. However, most businesses do not take the time to educate consumers on their products and services. They assume that consumers understand the product or service being offered and why one might be better than the other.
All things being equal, consumers choose based on price.
If you can’t explain why your product is different or how it works, you have to charge what everyone else is charging since you are (from a consumer’s perspective) just like them. In order to sell more products than competitors, the actual product or service you offer does not need to substantially change in order for this strategy to work.
The perception of what you offer needs to change.
Sell More Products Even If They Aren’t Unique
Even if you have the exact same process for delivering your product or service as all of your competitors, if you are the first to bring your process to the attention of your market, your process will become the standard they judge other similar products or services by. You can sell more products by telling people more about the products you’re selling.
Copywriting and advertising legend Claude Hopkins used this strategy to revolutionize the sales of Schlitz beer in the early 1900s. You have to keep in mind that all beer is essentially made with barley malt, rice, water, hops and yeast. The process for making beer from these ingredients is also essentially the same.
Claude Hopkins saw an opportunity in that because beer companies did not educate consumers on the process. They simply tried to out-compete each other in other areas which kept them all relatively on the same level from a consumer standpoint.
Don’t try to beat competitors. Focus on your customers and that will naturally elevate you beyond their level. Consumers want to be educated on what they buy because they want to feel like they’re getting the best value for their money. If you want to make more money, take the time to tell people what they’re buying and more people will buy.
Every beer manufacturer essentially made beer the same way, but Schlitz was the first to explain the process of creating a pure brew and, by doing so, claimed a “preemptive top of the mind advantage” over its competitors.
At this point, if competitors tried to explain their process (which was the same) they would have been seen as lesser quality copycats. First impressions count. The first to market with the explanation of a process “owns” that process in the minds of consumers. Mr. Hopkins insisted copywriters research their clients’ products and produce “reason-why” copy. He believed that a good product was often its own best salesperson. Even when people don’t ask why, they still want to know WHY and HOW. Remember that.
Schlitz beer was able to sell more products and gradually rose from fifth place to a tie for first place in market-share, and it was all because Mr. Hopkins knew the importance of educating the consumer.
In My Life in Advertising, Claude Hopkins wrote:
This is a situation which occurs in most advertising problems. The product is not unique. It embodies no great advantages. Perhaps countless people can make similar products. But tell the pains you take to excel. Tell factors and features which others deem too commonplace to claim. Your product will come to typify those excellencies. If others claim them afterward, it will only serve to advertise you. There are few advertised products which cannot be imitated. Few who dominate a field have any exclusive advantage. They were simply the first to tell certain convincing facts.
If you’re the first to claim something before everyone else, you’ll most likely gain the “top of mind” advantage and sell more products because your competitors might be hesitant to claim, “We do that, too!” Other beer companies didn’t describe their process because they thought since all the other beers were made the same way; their process was too commonplace to talk about.
Claude Hopkins understood the consumer need for product education.
Take a look at what Vitamix does as a twist on this strategy…
Instead of simply highlighting their process, they show how their product is superior to a competitive product justifying their higher price point. Their higher prices allow them to innovate and produce higher-quality products that give you the consumer more desirable results. They wouldn’t be able to do this trying to beat their competitors on price.
Charge more and deliver better value.
Marketers who have been in Mail-Order or Direct Marketing for any length of time already know the importance of standing out. That’s the “secret” to eliminating the competition.
I’ll give you a great example…
Have you ever seen one of the “Ab Machine” infomercials? If you watch T.V. any time after 11pm you have. First there was one, then there were two, then the airwaves were flooded with “Ab Machines”.
The problem was not that there were so many of them, but that they were all talking about one thing; building rock-hard abs. They were all missing the point. If you have essentially the same product as everyone else and ALL ab machines are the same, you have to be the one to tell people more about your product than your competitors do.
One company decided to reveal the fact that building strong abdominal muscles also strengthens the back. Every other ab machine strengthens the back because they all work the same, but the first company that said it automatically seemed better than all the rest and was able to sell more products even though the products are essentially the same.
So What’s The Big Takeaway?
The lesson you need to learn from Claude Hopkins’ approach is that you absolutely must educate your customers before someone else does. Make it a point to tell them about all the pains you take to make your product the best value for their money.
Show them you’re worth what you charge. I’m willing to bet that your current prices is more of reflection of what your competitors charge for a similar product or service than it is about the actual value your service or product delivers. Don’t let what they do hold you back.
Tell consumers how many vendors you source from to bring the highest quality product, what you do to maintain your level of quality, how long it took you to develop your process, how you make sure that everyone in your company lives by the principles of your company and how that translates into greater customer service, etc.
That’s why people who write sales letters and ads get paid so much. It’s their job to identify more reasons people should buy from you over your competitors.
You can sell the same thing that everyone else does and sometimes it really doesn’t matter. It’s not always just about what your product does, but how much you tell about what it does and how you position your offers.
Someone even managed to sell a haunted mirror for $150 that they would have ordinarily thrown away simply because they crafted a unique story for their mundane product. Doesn’t matter that someone could have gotten that same mirror at a garage sale for $5 bucks. The mirror sold based solely on the strength of what was said about it which had nothing to do with the actual value of the mirror itself.
If they would have tried to sell the mirror on its own it wouldn’t have sold for $150. Put next to another mirror, there’s nothing unique about it that warrants the price it sold for.
Once you’ve got someone’s attention, you MUST give them all your reasons WHY they should buy from you NOW. The people reading your sales message won’t always investigate what you’re offering beyond what you initially show them and they may never see it again.
It’s really now or never.
All of your advertising is salesmanship in print from or website form. Marketing is marketing no matter where you do it. The Internet isn’t some special place where all of the advertising methods developed over the centuries all of a sudden become ineffective. In fact, they may even work better online because so few people are aware of and take advantage of them.
Remember… Salesmanship in print, even if it’s digital print.
If you want to sell more products or services you must make sure you tell the full story of your product or service every time someone runs across your marketing material. Don’t leave them to figure out the “why” of doing business with them. TELL THEM and tell them NOW.
One Of The Biggest Reasons Why This Works
You have to keep in mind that most people are highly skeptical because they’ve been taken advantage of by slick talking salesmen in the past who knew that what they were selling wasn’t as good as they made it out to be.
Because of that, most people will have a hard time believing you if all you do is present your product in the same way that everyone else does.
They’ll assume you’re just another slick salesman unless your advertising goes above and beyond what they’d expect to see from anyone else.
The best way to overcome this is to give plenty of details. Details of how your product or service works. Details of your overheads (due to the great lengths you go through to make sure they have the best product possible) to justify your pricing. Give them testimonials, references (if needed) and free trials if possible.
In general consumers don’t trust you.
That’s just a basic fact of selling anything. And if you’re selling something that’s supposedly one of the best of its kind… “Why is it so cheap?”
People are always asking (in their heads) “Why?”
You have to give them all the information they need in a way that shows how far you’re going to give them more value than they money you want them to pay you and that’s something you just can’t expect people to understand.
You need to tell them in detail what’s going on.
If it’s cheap… “Why?”
If it’s expensive… “Why?”
If it’s the best… “Why?”
If you can give a valid answer to the why, you’re already ahead of the game.
In the example above, Schlitz educated consumers on why their beer was the best and or better than the rest by explaining their process for making beer.
Even though basically every beer is made that way, consumers felt like Schlitz was somehow special because they gave them the answer to why buy from them before any of their competitors did.
Don’t try and re-invent the wheel. Use what’s around you already. The ideas in this document may not be original but they are proven to work. If you want to make more profits now, take the easy way out and follow what someone else has already proven to work. Don’t get caught up in trying to be clever.
Be profitable instead.
When you’re profitable everyone will just assume you’re clever anyway.
Don’t Just Be A Service Provider
Show consumers that you’re taking steps to look out for their best interests just like a trusted friend would. Don’t just be a service provider, be someone they can trust; someone who values the time it took them to make the money you expect them to pay you.
We can help you do that. Give us a call or use our contact form. Remember, this advantage works as long as you strike first. You have to educate your consumers before a competitor does to gain the advantage because once the opportunity is lost, it’s gone for good. Adapting this idea to the Internet, we can create compelling videos that visually explain your process to consumers in a way that’s engaging and informative.
We can also help you create a brand strategy around your process to educate consumers and squeeze competitors out of the picture.
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