Thursday, April 22, 2010

Value is Better

Better than what?

Take a look.

From Jim Meisenheimer this week:

Sell Value Not Discounts

Sell value not discounts is the way to go if you're one
of the rare breed of entrepreneurs or professional
salespeople, who do in fact, focus on adding value to
your sales prospects and customers buying experience.

A quick story to illustrate this point.

Last weekend Bernadette, my wife, and I took off for
the weekend.

At a recent Women's Club event Bernadette bid and won
a free night at the Vinoy Hotel and Resort in St.
Petersburg. We added a night so we ended up with a
3-day/2-night package.

My wife's friend Alexis told her about a wonderful
boutique, Pamela M's, just north of St. Pete.

So off we go to Pamela M's shop.

But first we stopped for lunch in Madeira Beach.

The movie, Forrest Gump, is one of my all-time favorites.

It turns out the movie inspired a seafood restaurant
with the movie producers.

So they created the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. They currently
have six locations in the US. They do a lot of little
things that most restaurants never think of doing.

For example. Have you ever been to a restaurant, where
the entire staff is looking out for you? Well I haven't!

Every table at Bubba Gumps has a little stand that holds
two license plates. The blue plate says, "Run Forest Run."
The red plate says, "Stop Forest Stop."

The blue plate means you're happy with everything. The
red one says you need something. Everyone who sees the
red plate asks how they can help you.

Ya know, in sales little things mean everything.

Sales tip - do the little things that no one else in your
business is doing.

Now - off we go to Pamela M's boutique.

As soon as we walked in the door, we were greeted with
friendly, "Hellos" from the staff.

One of them said, "Everything is 20% off today."

For the next hour and a half I'm taking it all in. I
found a comfortable chair and was able to amuse myself
with my iPhone.

My wife likes to shop. In fact she shops more than she

But today would be different. Very different!

From my perch I could see that a lot of the customers
are regulars.

The selection of clothes was amazingly unique and

We've been married about 22 years. I've never seen my
wife buy so many things, at one time, in one store

In addition to having a marvelous selection to choose
from, Pamela - the store's owner, also had a fabulous

I'm watching all this. Customers interacting with
salespeople. Customers interacting with other customers.
Everybody is just having a good time while they're
trying on and buying clothes.

It was fun. There was a bottle of Kendall Jackson
Chardonnay standing tall next to the plate of crackers
and Bree cheese and set on a small oak table in front
of a sofa.

This wasn't a shopping - it was an experience.

Our salesperson tallied up our bill and then deducted
the promised 20% discount.

The discount didn't matter. Everything else did. In
fact, everything else mattered more.

Pamela has a great shop and an inconvenient location
for us - about one hour drive from our home in Lakewood
Ranch. Guess what? I'm sure we'll be going back soon.

Hey Pamela. You ofter an incredible shopping experience
for women and tremendous clothes and have an awesome
sales staff.

You didn't have to knock $300 off our bill.

You could however do something a little different that
has potentially a big impact. You could do something
that would even create a buzz with your customers about
your business.

For example. Instead of offering a 20% discount you can
give your customers a box of Godiva - Thank You
Ballotins - 19 pieces.

The cost is $26 but the value is priceless to the women
who love chocolate.

In addition you would have added, on our bill, $274 to
your bottom line.

Keep up the good work Pamela - and remember to sell
value not discounts.

See my Blog here:

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Jim Meisenheimer. 13506 Blythefield. Lakewood Ranch. FL. 34202

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Anonymous said...

Interesting insight here. I like your solution of the luxury chocolates because as you said, that is enhancing the experience without the discount. Discounting too much can come back to haunt you. For example, some car brands rely so heavily on discounts that "deals" are now part of the brand and customers expect them. On the otherhand, a brand like Apple focuses on innovation and building loyalty with the result being you rarely see an Apple product discounted.

ScLoHo (Scott Howard) said...

In the media business, we often get "trade" to lavish on clients. For my out of town clients this past year, many were very happy to receive gift cards to a national up-scale steak restaurant recently as a Thank You for doing business with us.