Playing the Price Game: It’s a Choice. Choose Wisely
The Internet, the obvious low barrier to entry, unskilled salespeople, the economy—each of these drive price wars and ultimately erode profits. Additionally, these issues relinquish control over to the client thus giving the client ultimate control to manage and drive the process. However, it doesn’t need to be that way. Choose to be different!
Have a Plan
More than ever the “plan” often is neglected or never ever produced. Distributors typically fail to plan how they will go to market and, more importantly, to whom they are going to market. Approximately two years ago I surveyed a large number of distributor companies and asked, “Do you have a marketing plan?” Of those surveyed only 30 percent said they had a plan. Then I asked an additional question of those who said hey had a plan; “Is your plan written down?” Of those 30 percent, only 3 percent said they had a written plan. That number is dismal. In order to be consistently effective it is imperative that you have a plan.
Know the Market
All of the literature in the advertising and marketing world speaks to the importance of being laser-focused in your marketing efforts; the shotgun approach is no longer effective. With the barrage of marketing and advertising messages that hit our clients and prospects daily, it is critical that your message be highly targeted and honed in on your specific target audience. That said, developing vertical and lateral markets will be the future of our industry and the key to optimum success of any business. By developing vertical or lateral markets, you become an expert in that specific field, doing so, you could indeed eventually own that category; and with the right market, it could go viral. My advice is to develop a minimum of three to four vertical markets, do your research, interview and really get to know those markets.