The key concept for small businesses is to focus on your communications is that customers do not buy products, they buy solutions and they buy benefits. They also buy value, which is more than just the price you are charging.
Believing that you have to communicate price all the time is a mistake. People want value and it is up to you to communicate the value, the solutions, and the benefits you provide to increase sales.
There are two important marketing communications that are on point with this concept.
- Customers want the best; they want the #1 rated and the best-selling items. Why is that? Customers want to be winners and winners buy the top rated, the best in class whenever possible. It is up to you to communicate how customers are winners when they buy your products.
- When communicating value, try using a slightly different communication tactic. Communicate the savings rather than just the price. Do the math for them! When you communicate the savings you communicate the winnings. Saving customers’ money is providing value, and by establishing the offerings on a value base vs. cheapest price you come out the sales winner!
Every sign, card, flyer or written communications should emphasis this special value equation. Promote the value, which includes the biggest benefit or solution you provide.
If you are the fastest, then say it! Your message then supports the solution or benefit of speed of service.
If product availability is a solution or benefit your customers are looking for, then communicate 100% in stock every day!
Communicate your strongest benefit or solution first and frame it as part of the value equation. Competing on price alone is a tough road.
Let me share another communication strategy around transaction building. It will have a different look and feel than gaining market share.
Always communicate how you are different or better than your competition. Focus on telling customers why they should buy from you and strive to do it in 10 seconds or less before you lose their attention!
Identify your ideal customer and learn to talk to them directly through networking, direct mail, customer loyalty programs and through on-line and social media. Talk with them by every means possible and talk to them often!
Personalize your communication. Is your picture on the website? It is more impactful if they buy from Dave, rather than Direct Distributing! Many people fail to put a face on their business. Think of Dave at Wendy’s or Orville at you know where!
Make sure your on-line messaging and personality is the same as the physical store. They should be connected in look and feel, and also in personality. Don’t be afraid to connect in an authentic way and show your customers the personality of your company! If your customers know and like you, that is difficult to beat!
Let’s talk about communicating your call to action clearly. Most businesses fail at this because they just don’t ask for the sale! How many retailers sell vs. how many allow their customer to shop and self-select? Helping a customer find and select the product that best fits their solution, benefit, or problem will result in a more satisfying transaction. Whenever possible, help the customer select, rather than allowing them to self-select.
Lastly, direct the focus of your communication on the customer. It is great that you have been in business since 1927, but is that the most important thing you want your customers to know about your business? Today’s consumers care more about themselves and less about you as the retailer. Communicate your strongest benefit or solution first and then frame it as part of the value equation. Do that and you will increase sales and your customers will come out winners!