Very often, inferior competitors play the price card:
Jay: I get that question. “Well, I talk to your competitor and they’re less expensive than you are.” Well, now I have to find a way to let them know, yeah, we are more expensive, but there’s a reason. And it’s because we’re very good at what we do and we have certain guarantees that they don’t, or whatever it is.
David: Yeah. A pack of cigarettes is cheaper too, but that can also kill you. No, that would not be a good answer. But sometimes it’s what we feel like saying…
David: Hi, and welcome to the podcast. In today’s episode, co-host, Jay McFarland and I will be discussing the idea of losing business to inferior competitors. Welcome back, Jay.
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Jay: It’s good to be here, David, and this is one of the most frustrating things for me when I know that I have a better product, I have better customer service.
I know this because I’ve heard complaints about my competitor and all of these things, but you lose it to them for whatever reason. Well, that can really ruin your day , and it can also affect your business.
David: It really can. And I think just this idea and even the word inferior competitors, probably anyone in business who has competitors that you’ve run into has had this experience. And you’re like, I can’t believe they went with that person instead of us.
You know that what you have is so much better and offers so much more and is going to transform the person in positive ways so much more than they will if they go the other way. And yet they go in that direction. It can be extremely frustrating.
So when we think about this idea of how to avoid this, how to avoid losing business to inferior competitors, there are a number of different things that we can do. But I think it starts with recognizing, first of all, that they’re out there.
That there are a number of people out there who are not as good as we are. And then it’s about, okay, how am I going to be able to communicate that to my prospects in a way that doesn’t make me sound like I’m bitter, or make me sound like I’m frustrated? And that can be the challenge sometimes.
Jay: Yeah, I agree. I have people regularly ask me, what’s the difference between you and your competitor? And I find that you have to be very careful with this question. And the tactic that I’ve chosen is to say, here’s the value that we can bring you. Here’s what I know we can do.
And I try and s teer it back or say, you know, I haven’t worked with them directly, but let me tell you this is where we shine. And I know we’re going to bring you success in this way because it’s always been weird to me that somebody would believe what I say about my competitor.
I’m the worst person to ask. It’s like in politics when somebody runs an attack ad, why would you believe the guy who’s, you know what I mean? It ‘s the worst person to ask, but we put so much faith and trust in it.
David: Right. And I think, going exactly along that line, one of the things that we’ve tried to do when people come to us and they ask us about it, is we’ll basically say to them, well, listen, anything I say is obviously going to be biased.
Why don’t I fill you in on some of what our customers have said about that topic? And then we’ve got videos and we’ve got audios, and we’ve got written testimonials of customers who have worked with us and we’ll point them to that. And allow them to hear what other people just like them are saying about the products and services we offer.
Sometimes there are situations where a customer will talk about a bad experience they had with one of our competitors and the reason they came to us, and so sometimes we’ll share those stories as well. Say, well, listen, I can’t tell you this personally. I’ve never personally dealt with this other company.
But you know, we’ve had a number of customers who were dealing with them in the past, and here are the reasons they gave for switching over to us. They said that they found that we do this better and this better and this better. I don’t know if you’ve ever had any experience with that company, but if you have, you might have noticed those things as well.
But either way, I can tell you that these are the things where we’re going to be very likely to provide you with better service in those areas.
Jay: Yeah, that’s great. And I don’t want to skip over what you said about having customer reviews and testimonials available. That’s got to be an important part of your sales process because, you know, I have people ask me all the time, well, can I talk to somebody who’s worked with you?
And in my particular line of work, my customers don’t want to receive calls every day to give references to people. But if you have a system, you know, if you use an online customer service rating system, or if you have, as you said, recorded video testimonials, that’s all very important.
But you have to make a concerted effort and have a system to get those and a place to post those.
David: Yeah. One of the places where we got a lot of them was at trade shows. We would be at trade shows and people would come up to the booth and they would start telling us a story. Oh, you know, I love your program.
You know, I was able to bring in three new accounts as a result of this. And we’d say, wait, wait, hang on a second. Would you do me a favor? Stand over here. We’d put them in front of our booth where our logo is, and I said, “I just want to shoot a quick video. Just tell your story to my camera. Okay?”
“Start out with your name, your company name, and what happened. Okay. Ready? Go!” And then they would say their name and their company name and they’d say what happened. And they’d just rattle off these beautiful testimonials that were straight from the heart. They weren’t scripted, there were no bullet points.
They were just saying what they came up to us to say. And then we put those on our website. We have a page on our website. We call it The Wall of Fame, and that’s for people who have had successful experiences with our program and wanted to share those experiences. It’s at TopSecrets.com/results if you’d like to see our Wall of Fame page.
And so a lot of times now when we have new customers, we’ll say to them, Hey, look, take a look at this page. I would love for you to be our next testimonial on the Wall of Fame. And now they can just shoot them from their own homes on their own iPhones and that sort of thing and send it in like that.
But a lot of times, when you deliver what you promise to people, they’re more than happy to do that sort of thing if you just ask them. Now, some people are a little shy, they’re a little more hesitant to do that. But in those cases, even if they send you an email and maybe a publicity photo that they might have on their website, you can use the photo next to the quotes of what they said.
You can pull out a headline of something they said that was particularly important. Put that at the top in bigger letters as a headline. So they see the headline, they see the person’s face. And then they see the description of exactly what they said. And it just adds credibility. And it also gives them a chance to promote themselves and their brand because it would have their logo or their company name on it as well.
So it’s really a win for everyone as long as what you’re doing actually delivers the results you’re promising.
Jay: Yeah, I think that’s brilliant. And I think the other part of that is if you can have a system that encourages people who’ve had a good experience to refer their associates, other companies, people they’re working with to you, this can either be done as you know, on your website, you can have 10% off if you refer a friend, or it could be part of your phone call process. Hey, just, is there anybody else you can think of that would benefit from our services? Because more than anything else, more than anything that I see online, if I hear a referral from somebody who has said I’ve used them, there’s nothing more powerful in business, to me, and the way I look at who I’m going to choose to do business with.
David: Exactly. And as you pointed out earlier, it’s not like you’re going to be giving out phone numbers of all your best clients and having them annoy them at work because that’s the quickest way to annoy your best clients.
I’ve had situations where people ask me that question and I said, well, we don’t give out our customer’s contact information, but take a look at our Wall of Fame and if you have any questions, let me know.
And they’ll look at it and they’ll see page after page and video after video of people telling their own words and their own stories. And they’ll say, well, you know, I’d really like to talk to somebody. And I’ll say, well, you know what? I’m not going to give out that information because it’s more important for me to protect my customers than it is to bring in a new one who’s still skeptical after seeing all that stuff.
But I’ve also had people who have actually dug up the information. They go to the Wall of Fame, they find the person’s name, they look them up, and they call them and they talk to them. So since it’s rare that that happens, sometimes the people on the Wall of Fame will call and say, Hey, I got a call from somebody.
I’m like, well, listen, I didn’t give out your number. They must have checked you out. And at that point, you know, they’re fine with it. They’re not upset about it.
But people can be funny with that, you know, it’s like, no, I must speak to the person. But I’ve got to tell you, the times that’s happened, most of the time those people are just using it as an excuse and they don’t end up becoming customers anyway, or they don’t end up becoming good customers, the ones who actually insist on doing that.
If they can’t extrapolate after seeing testimonial, after testimonial, after testimonial, then they’re probably not a good fit to begin with.
Jay: Yeah. And I think having the testimonials, I love the idea of the Wall of Fame, can be really helpful if you’re more expensive than your competitors.
Because you know, you may be on the premium side and you have to identify are they bargain shoppers? Because I get that question. Well, I talk to your competitor and they’re less expensive than you are.
Well, now I have to find a way to let them know, yeah, we are more expensive, but there’s a reason. And it’s because we’re very good at what we do and we have certain guarantees that they don’t or whatever it is.
David: Yeah. A pack of cigarettes is cheaper too, but that can also kill you. No, that would not be a good answer. But sometimes it’s what we feel like saying.
But honestly, just to say to somebody, oh, okay, look, if you’re looking for the cheapest option, then by all means, you know that might be a good option for you.
But if you’re looking to accomplish the results that we’re talking about here, then it would probably make more sense to work with us because we’re a lot more focused on getting you the result that we’re talking about than we are in terms of, you know, just trying to keep it to the lowest price. You know, if it costs less, maybe they can provide similar service.
I don’t know. But I know that with what we do, you know, our pricing is actually very competitive for what we do.
Jay: Yeah, and I love how you said that, and I’ve said exactly the same thing. I’ve said, look, I understand if finances are important to you, then absolutely, I understand if you go a different direction, but we’re here because we provide results.
And if you want to see that go to our Wall of Fame or go to, right? This is what we do and we are the best, or whatever you want to say to counter that. I’ve seen people stumble on this question. And instead of stumbling, you should be prepared for this question if you cost more, if you’re not trying to be the bargain basement competitor yourself.
David: Yeah, and when you’re getting these testimonials as you’re gathering them, the ones that are going to be the most valuable for you are the results-based testimonials. The ones where they talk about the results they achieved because they worked with you.
It’s not enough for them to say, oh yeah, I worked with this company. They were great. They were really nice. They were very pleasant. No, what was the result that they got? And on our Wall of Fame, most of the people are talking about the results they got financially in their businesses. You know, they increase their sales. You know, one guy was talking about getting from 400,000 in gross sales to 800,000.
There’s this one gentleman who was talking about how he was able to achieve six figures in growth in a very short period of time. Now, is that the normal, is that going to happen for everyone who takes our program? No, but that was his experience and that’s what he shared there. And we even talk about the fact that most of the people on this page are the ones who are creating the best results.
They’re exceptional performers who create exceptional results. And those are the type of people we’re looking for. The ones who will actually put in the work. Take the next step, follow through, and create the results they’re looking for.
Jay: Well, and I think that’s an important part, especially in promotional marketing. You know, you may have provided the best product, but if they’re not going to go out and use it properly, and maybe this is something we should talk about in the future, how to encourage them and teach them how to use it.
Otherwise, they’re going to say, oh, those guys were terrible. They’re going to blame you. , and it’s really because they’re not using what you’re giving them in a proper way.
David: Yeah, that happens all the time in the industry, and particularly you were talking about pricing earlier, people in the promotional products industry who give in to people who want the cheapest product?
If you do that, and you sell them a cheaper product because they demanded it of you, and if that product is not as good as the product you originally recommended to them, they’re not going to blame themselves.
They’re still going to blame you. Why did you sell me that? Well, you told me you wanted something cheap. Well, not that cheap. I didn’t want it to be bad. It’s like, okay, well I recommended something to you originally that you said no to.
You really don’t want to give into that because the more we devalue ourselves and the more we are willing to do for less money, the less empowered we are to be able to actually deliver on our promises.
So it’s just always so important to sell with a conscience. When you recommend a product, you’re recommending it because you know it’s going to do the job for the person, not just because they beat you into submission, into accepting a lower price.
Jay: Yeah, I love it. How come people find out more?
David: Well, you can go to TopSecrets.com/call. That’s TopSecrets.com/call. Schedule a call with myself or my team. We’d be happy to walk you through what it is that you’re dealing with now, where you’re looking to be, and how we can help you get to the next step.
If we can help you, we’ll let you know. If we can’t help you, we’ll let you know that too. Either way, I am very sure you’ll get a lot of good value from the call.
Jay: All right, I know they will, and I hope they get a sense of that from our conversations. David, just been fantastic talking to you today.
David: Thanks a lot, Jay.
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