Now you may think that these are not linked in any way on the face of it, but they set me thinking. Buffet is suggesting that you need to distinguish the value a product gives your customer rather than the price you pay. If price is the only factor that you have to ‘sell’ then you will effectively need to keep discounting and eventually end up giving it away. All of your competitors who focus on the product in the same way will also discount. You’ll end up in a discount war, nobody will increase market share and you will all lose.You already know that price is not the only deciding factor when your customer opts to make a purchase. Even on eBay where people can search for the cheapest option, they will look at your feedback and decide whether you are reputable or not. They will wonder what will happen if they buy a product from you and it arrives at their doorstep faulty or damaged in some way how hard will you make their life? Will you respond to emails or messages? Will you give them a refund or will they have to open a case through PayPal? How will you respond to neutral or negative feedback? They will look at your available neutral and negative feedback and decide whether to trust you or not. They can tell a great deal through the reviews previous customers have given you and how you responded to that feedback. You need to strategically differentiate your business, especially if you are running it from somewhere as generic and relatively anonymous as eBay. You need to offer your customers something unique and transparent. Consider what that something could be that will help to differentiate you from your competitors.
It can be something simple within the description. You can add very clear descriptions of items, and suggest ways in which the product might be used, displayed, played etc. What occasions it can be used for. What feelings it might evoke. That’s the first stage.
The second stage is to communicate the benefits of buying from you and not your competitors. Fair price or high quality? Ease of returns. No quibble returns. Friendly service. Professional and knowledgeable about the products? You’re willing to answer any questions. A transparent delivery process outlining price and waiting times.
Of course, you have to want to do this for your customers, and maybe you don’t. Perhaps you just want to make a quick buck and that’s entirely up to you! But if you do want to offer a quality of service then that brings me back to my first quote; ‘The more I charge you, the more pressure I put on myself to perform for you’.The people who steer the company are the salespeople. If you are the only person in your business then you have a lot riding on your shoulders. The success and failure of the company is down to you. By offering a good service you put yourself under pressure to provide that in an agreeable and timely fashion. You need to invest in yourself therefore. Consider what you need to learn in order to become a better salesperson. Focus on your abilities and set yourself ambitious goals.
I say ambitious because if you decide you want sales of £200 this week you will aim for that and settle for £180. If you decide you want sales of £500 this week you may only make £180 but your aspirations are higher, your striving will be greater, and you have moved your mind-set. Bear in mind that what you do today may not result in sales for today or tomorrow but it may well set in motion sales for next week or next month. Not everyone will buy on impulse but they will remember that you made them feel valued, because you respect your business and your customers and value yourself.
Here endeth the philosophical lesson for today! What are your thoughts?