Competing on price is a mug’s game

18 other ways to promote products and services, without mentioning price. Robert Craven shares his successful sales tips

Paraphrasing Professor Michael Porter from Harvard Business School, competing on price is a mug’s game.

So, if you don’t compete on price what do you compete on? There are so many other ways to present your offer when you’re not selling on price. Here are 18 things you can talk about to make your offer more compelling – and still give customers what they really want:

1. More profit Example: ‘33% growth in profit within three months.’

2. Less costs/more saving Example: ‘Reduce your overheads by at least 10% in the first year.’

3. More customers Example: ‘We guarantee to deliver 2,000 new clients to you in a six-week timeframe.’

4. Better customers Example: ‘We will ‘deliver’ high-value customers with portfolios in excess of £1m.’

5. More time Example: ‘Will save you an average of 20 minutes per day which is one day per month!’

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6. Less stress Example: ‘Pre-ordering to guarantee you get what you want.’

7. Disruptive/contrary/contradictory positioning Example: ‘Pen and ink admin, or slow cooking or pay-what-you-want.’

8. Guarantees Example: ‘If you are not entirely happy with our service then we will give you twice the original fee. No questions asked!’

9. We know youExample: ‘Your local accountant.’

10. A Better/cuter/smarter/faster/neater/friendlier/simpler way Example: ‘Your files back to you in half the time your current supplier takes.’

11. UniqueExample: ‘The first, or the only… SC52 in the UK.’

12. Limited accessExample: ‘This is Springsteen’s only UK gig this year.’

13. Limited timeframeExample: ‘Offer closes midnight on Thursday.’

14. Convenience Example: ‘Delivered to your door at a time to suit you.’

15. Design Example: ‘Retro-designed in Italy by the Enzo Ferrari studio.’

16. Different business model Example: ‘Buy direct from the manufacturer.’

17. Avoiding painExample: ‘The only pain-free solution.’

18. ExperienceExample: ‘The only genuine/real experience…’

Of course there are many more ways but this is a useful starting point. So, to challenge how you do things I would suggest that you do NOT lower your price to win a bid. Don’t give in to fear.

Robert Craven is an entrepreneur, businessman and author who has run Mastermind Groups and action-centred learning with Warwick Business School, Business Growth Programme and London’s Accelerated Growth Programme among others. His latest book, Grow Your Service Firm, is available now . He is managing director of The Directors’ Centre.


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