With that in mind, let’s talk about competition. To paraphrase Sara Lee, “Nobody doesn’t have competition.” We do, you do, everybody does. Do I hear you asking what’s the point?
Simple. Since having competition is a given, it’s what you do with it that counts.
What do you do with it? Ignore it? Hope it will go away? Bad mouth it? Or do you learn from it? Do you make improvements to keep ahead of it?
For many of us, a big part of our current competitive situation boils down to one word. Price.
There are always small companies cherry-picking chunks of the market with lower prices on selected product knock-offs. Do they offer anything else? Uh-uh. They can’t afford to. Have they embraced the very important concept of customer support that is key to a successful marketing effort?
The low price competitor is historically short on value
As we’ve watched price-based competition come and go over the years, we’ve learned that your customers demand more than low price. They want comprehensive programs that include new product development, technological innovations and easily understood differences.
They also want merchandising support that really helps them sell. And, of course, they want service…before, during and after the sale. Moreover, they want it from pros who know their products, their markets and their needs.
It’s impossible to separate price and value
Your customers also know that it’s impossible to offer a comprehensive package loaded with value and always offer the lowest price in the market. But, they’re not searching for a shortcut to a quick buck. Like you, they’re in this for the long haul.
If this support list describes what you provide to your customers, you should be able to weather just about any competitive storm. Your customers should recognize that in this industry, it’s impossible to separate price and value. A successful distributor-based business needs both.
The low price competitor is historically short on value. And, in this dog eat dog world, value is the thing on which we and you keep our incisors sharp.
For more on value, see the Channel Instincts posts Are You Delivering Real Value to Your Customers? and Are You Your Customer’s Biggest Fan?
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