You can outsell your competition anytime with these 10 tips.
1) Outsell your competition by finding out everything you can about them.
Beat the competition by building a competitor database.
You cannot outsell your competitors if you do not know who they are. There are more tools to find out about your competition than ever before. You can study their websites, Facebook pages, LinkedIn profile and Hoovers reports.
Above all though, the best way to investigate your competitors and outsell them though is by creating an information gathering system.
With this system, you can learn their marketing techniques, pricing models, physical location, key people and much more.
2) Outsell them by creating a better product or service.
This might seem obvious, but you would be amazed how few business owners consider making their product more attractive.
Here is an example. We once had a client that sold smoothies with food trucks. He was barely breaking even and asked us why. We told him (frankly)…
“Your smoothies taste like shit.”
He went ballistic ranting on amount markets and profit margin. We countered by reminding him that if you do not sell a product you do not have a profit margin. We also told him our most successful food truck client sold macaroni and cheese, but the cheese was extremely expensive. He did not want to hear it.
3) Outsell your competition by creating value added.
Value added is a given in todays retail markets but often people do not understand it. For something to be value added, it has to ADD VALUE.
We interpret added when we write posts for Landon Fillmore Systems and Gig2big by obsessing over the posts containing actionable information. That is what value is in a post. It is easy to write useless “10 ways to do whatever” posts and you see them by the 10’s of thousands on the internet.
One that we got a good laugh at was a travel site that had a list of the 10 best restaurants in Playa del Carmen. Number 9 was DENNEYS!
Adding value may be a blog post but it may also be a product enhancement. If you are a veterinarian, a monthly post on animal care is a huge value added. For an auto repair shop, a text reminder to check your tire pressure adds value.
The problem is that much of what companies think is value added makes the customer lose trust in the product. If everything you send a customer is a buying signal, they will ignore your correspondence. There is zero value in constantly being sold to.
Value added could be YOU!!!
4) Outsell your competition by educating your customers as to your value.
The dirty little secret of marketing is to ignore cheap people. Why? As a highly successful author friend of mine once said, “people looking for free stuff never buy.”
For example, I once met a woman who sold vacuum cleaners. In one 3-month period, she sold 120, $1,200 vacuum cleaners. How? In fact, she was for a short time, the #1 seller in the USA of that type of vacuum.
She had a daughter with severe asthma. She learned everything she possibly could about the need for a clean, dust free environment and how to create one. If she got into your living room, I would challenge you to not buy one.
It is not enough to know your product. You have to know why the customer needs it, what pain points they have, and how to trigger them.
5) Outsell your competitors by Systems engineering your marketing.
CLICK THE IMAGE TO READ ABOUT SYSTEMS ENGINEERING IN MARKETING. CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO LEARN ABOUT TRIGGERS AND PAIN POINTS.
Systems engineering is not as complicated as it seems, but to do it, you first have to have a system. To create one read our posts on creating a marketing footprint and a selling funnel.
I will not elaborate on this as the links above are extensive, except to say that the use of a plan with feedback loops is what will supercharge your marketing.
6) Outsell your competitors by cold calling.
Probably no topic gets more attention in selling than telephone solicitations, but the fact is, it is the cheapest easiest way to make an enormous amount of money.
You will read all kinds of posts on the uselessness of cold calls, how to turn them into warm calls and other assorted bullshit, but I have had several $50,000 commission sales on cold calls. My first professional job, in which at the ripe old age of 23, netted me todays equivalent of $250,000 a year came from calling the CEO while his secretary was at lunch.
Of course, there are techniques to telephone solicitations which we will elaborate on in later posts, but for now, there are plenty of free resources on the internet.
7) Outsell your competition by understanding the absurdity of pricing.
Your goal to sell a great product at a great price? BRAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
When you are new in business, nothing is more frustrating than pricing. We had a client that sold flooring. He decided he would not run sales he was going to sell value. That lasted three months.
It is impossible to sell value to people whose buying impulse is illogical. In fact, some of the greatest minds in retail work on pricing models. In fact, the entire shopping mall concept was based on people paying 800% markups for cheaply made crap in huge, glitzy, over air-conditioned buildings with 20-foot ceilings.
As we mentioned before, the same people who will drive 20 miles to get $1 off 16 rolls of toilet paper will pay $8 for a hot fudge Sunday on a hot day. Where is the logic in working 5 hours to pay for a ticket to a football game that lasts 3 hours?
There are several ways to outsell your competition by absurd pricing.
The first is to understand YOUR market.
In many expensive suburbs, shoppers equate price with quality. Unless a product is expensive, they will not buy it.
The second way is a concept called markup to sale.
That is when you create a fictitious price and sit the product on the shelf until the sale date. This is what big box retail does when it plans “event sales.” These occur on holidays and treat the customer like Pavlov’s dogs. They ship product usually a few weeks before the sale date and print signs with one price. When the event date arrives, they simply change signs.
Keep in mind, your markups have to be high enough to absorb the sale but also to compensate for unsold items and non-sellable returns.
Another way is to have easy payment terms.
Do you remember seeing absurd “easy payments” signs, like “three easy payments of $5.99?” Who does not have $18? Well, they work! And with the proliferation of small business credit card processors, any company can offer them.
Give away the first month or two.
Newspapers and magazines do this all the time. They give you two months at a very reduced price and the real price kicks in in month three.
Play with sizing.
I saw an add recently for a food delivery service that advertised $1.99 per serving. I used to get pre-sized meals sent to my house. It was $5.99 per serving and I ate two servings. I once bought a small thing of Gelato thinking it was an iced cream substitute health food. It said 200 calories on the container. When I got it home, I realized there were 4 servings. I thought it was one. (And ate the whole thing)
8) Outsell the competition by using advanced closing techniques.
There are dozens, but they are obvious so I will mention a few.
The first is to assume the sale. I remember early in my career a woman saying to her husband, “For ****’s sake George, just make a decision!” Great salesmen always assume the sale and move on.
Another is a series of questions, like…
- “Well, you certainly do not want this…”
- “And you do not want this…”
- “So, let’s do this…”
Another is the ultimatum. This is where you tell the customer, “I can hold this till the end of the day.”
A good one is to start the implementation of the sale before they agree. For example, you might say, “Okay, Mr. client, I’ll have the cement truck here on Saturday and we will have the footer in by Monday.” This helps them imagine the product instead of having to go through the mental anguish of the decision.
Many of the best closes are in the insurance industry. People hate buying insurance because they do not want to think of tragedy. When insurance salesmen are pushy, they are probably doing the customer a favor.
9) Outsell your competition by explaining to the customer the flaws in their product, pricing, or service.
Keep in mind, you have to do this honestly. Slandering a competitor is illegal, although be prepared when your competitors do it to you. In fact, in the financial services industry, talking about a competitor can be illegal.
Companies do this all the time, and they should. The easiest way is to create a bullet list of competitors but do not use their names. If you simply pick out a product feature and highlight it, the customer will know if it is a company they use.
10) Outsell your competition by being hyper competitive.
Most sales books rant on about tricks to selling. In the end of the day, as my old grammar schoolteacher used to say, “Feint heart never won fair lady.”
Some of the most aggressive salesman on earth are working for big Pharma. You might not believe what they go through to make sales. You wonder is they know as much about their own children as they do about the doctors they sell to.
Think of it this way. How many movies have you seen that were described as stories of forbidden love? The main male character typically never gives up on his pursuit of the woman of his dreams and these films typically have happy endings.
Moral of the story? Never quit.
You have competition. They will use every trick in the book to beat you.
If you are a normal rational person selling will seem bizarre. Salesmen have notoriously bad reputations, but most do not deserve it. The longer you are in retail, the more you will understand that many customers cannot distinguish buying from stealing. They are illogical on their good days.
For your company though, you cannot be unethical. The phrase “the customer is always right” should be “the customer thinks he is always right though they rarely are.”
Retailers today are ushering in an entire new generation of unethical techniques used predominately online. I bought a pair of earbuds that were advertised as “noise reduction earphone.” There was no noise reduction at all, which I mentioned in the review. They immediately sent me an email saying they would send me a full refund if I deleted the review.
In many online services they continually change the terms of service agreements knowing that the customer does not read them.
If you run a small business that way, you will not have repeat customers and probably not last very long.
But the huge advantage for you is many online sellers are looking for scam sales techniques. I continually see ads for “side hustles.” What idiot would buy from a company that refers to itself as a hustle? Hustling is an old pool hall term that implies cheating!
Do not get me wrong, liars do great in sales, in the short term but in the longer term they do not last. If you apply some or all of the techniques above, you will have as many dedicated loyal customers as you want.
Selling is not difficult, but you have to be a pit bull.