How Not To Compete On Price

I was recently nicknamed Robert ‘put your prices up’ Craven. I was flattered. So, if you don’t compete on price, what do you compete on?

As discussed before, people don’t buy from you for ‘what you do’ they buy from you for ‘what you do does for them’. They buy the ‘afters’. What’s left after you’ve been and they’ve had the service. From an accountant you buy peace of mind or low tax bills. From an osteopath you buy the ability to walk properly.

Well, here’s a quick list of ways of presenting your offer, ways to sell, when you are not selling on price:

1.    More Profit – most business customers want more profit so tell them how your product/service will give them just that eg 33% growth in profit within 3 months.

2.    Less Costs/More Saving – the corollary to #1 More Profit, businesses love the idea that you can reduce their costs eg reduce your overheads by at least 10% in Year One.

3.    More Customers – in no particular order, businesses nearly always want more profit, less costs, more cash, more customer and better customers. If you can show people how you can get them more customers then they will love you, eg we guarantee to deliver 2,000 new clients to you in a 6-week timeframe.

4.    Better Customers – the more sophisticated client will want to see a qualitative improvement in their customers. They are not after any old customers. They want better customers. And they define better in terms of what is better for their own business eg we will ‘deliver’ high-value customers with portfolios in excess of £1million.

5.    More Time – time is our most valuable resource and if you can give people more time then they will be very grateful eg will save you an average of 20 minutes per day which is one day per month!

6.    Less Stress – stress comes with the whole time and work-life balance issues. Most people want a simpler less stressful life. Help them to achieve it
eg pre-ordering to guarantee you get what you want.

7.    Disruptive/Contrary/Contradictory Positioning – when everyone zigs you should zag. Go against the flow eg pen and ink admin, or slow cooking or pay-what-you-want.

8.    Guarantees – a double-money-back-guarantee takes a lot of the risk out of a purchasing decision. The customer has nothing to lose if the product doesn’t come up to expectations
eg If you are not entirely happy with our service then we will give you twice the original fee. No questions asked!

9.    We Know You – in this world of impersonal, dreadful fake-friendly emails it is remarkable to talk with someone who does actually know who you are eg your local accountant.

10.    A Better/Cuter/Smarter/Faster/Neater/Friendlier/Simpler Way – all these adjectives invoke positive responses eg your files back to you in half the time your current supplier takes.

11.    Unique – in a world of similar products, most of which are commoditised or almost identical to the competition, the ‘unique’ cachet adds value and scarcity to your offer
eg the first, or the only… SC52 in the UK.

12.    Limited Access – restricted availability or access separates you from the rest eg this is Springsteen’s only UK gig this year.

13.    Limited Timeframe – likewise, limited timeframe tends to focus the mind of the consumer. Time-sensitive offers demand a binary yes-or-no response eg offer closes midnight on Thursday.

14.    Convenience – people will pay if something can be delivered where/when/how they specifically want it eg delivered to your door at a time to suit you.

15.    Design – design is becoming one of the key distinguishing features of many products eg retro-designed in Italy by the Enzo Ferrari studio.

Of course there are many more ways but this is a useful starting point.