- Relentlessly match all your competitor’s moves so you don’t fall behind.
- Adopt “high quality” as your competitive advantage.
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket—spread your risk (and your resources) across several strategic initiatives.
- Be satisfied with margins that are average for your industry.
- Make “doubling sales” a key strategic priority.
- Make one of the following phrases your core message on your website and sales material:
- We partner with our clients.
- We are dedicated to delivering excellent customer service.
- We are the leading provider of (fill in the blank).
- We deliver on our promises.
- We are focused on helping you succeed.
- And finally, be stumped by the question – “What can you promise to do for my business that your competitor cannot (who I happen to be talking to right now . . )?”
I created this tongue-in-cheek list to prove a point: As business owners, we often make a series of unforced errors that cause “price” to be at the top of most sales discussions. But high-performing businesses—those that earn margins above their industry’s average—don’t make these errors because they deeply understand what they do better than their rivals. The strategic choices they make—what new products or services to offer, what new markets to pursue, what people to hire, and so on—all reinforce and strengthen this core “best at” strategy. If it doesn’t fit their strategy, they stop doing it.
Companies can successfully compete on price if they have set of hard-to-copy , cost-reducing activities–think Walmart and Southwest Airlines. But. due to the size and scale needed for a low-cost strategy, most high-performing, small businesses opt for other approaches to set themselves apart in the market.
So, if price enters your sales discussions more than you like, it might be time change your strategy to intensely focus on what you can do better than your competitors. Then, and only then, can you begin to charge more and earn higher margins.
If you would like a few ideas on how you might move beyond price to find your competitive advantage, drop me an note at email@example.com and let’s set up a time to talk.