It’s probably true to say that everyone would like to be able to charge more and everyone would like more customers…
But isn’t it a case of one or the other?
Well, it can be difficult to do successfully, granted, but it isn’t impossible by any means … and if you can do it consistently and well, then the world really is your oyster.
To prove the point, here are some examples that need no explanation:
- Apple, BMW, Waitrose, Tiptree, Lindt
In fact one of my favourite advertising campaigns was the one that ran in the UK for Stella Artois lager in the late 1980s – it promised that it was ‘Reassuringly Expensive’.
I was a beer rep at the time, and the demand for that brand was constant and unrelenting … it was easy to sell … in fact we had to be careful not to sell it to everyone (they seem to have messed the brand up since then, by doing discount deals with supermarkets, which has completely wrecked the brand quality image!).
So: what to do to reach this wonderful ‘Shangri la’? It certainly isn’t easy, because if it was, then everyone would be doing it… and from our own experiences every day, I think we can confidently assume that this isn’t the case!
Apple, BMW, Waitrose, Tiptree and Lindt didn’t achieve their cult (and very stable and profitable) status by luck or overnight: it’s taken decades of hard graft and attention to detail.
The good news is, that, just by focusing on these ideas and making a start, you will already be putting yourself and your teams head and shoulders above the rest: most people just ‘don’t get round to it’!
There are 4 simple principles … and these apply to everything: your product quality, it’s presentation and how you deal with the customer.
- Obsessive customer focus: the only thing that matters about your product or service is how this will affect the customer and make them want to rave about you to their friends.
- ACTION POINT: Slow down, get your head in the right place and start here … the purpose of your product or service is NOT to make money or fulfil shareholders’ needs … the purpose is to do something so well that customers queue up to buy from you, buy all they can from you, and want to rave about you behind your back … then, and only then, will you make money …
- Consider the customers’ emotional needs as the key drivers (above the physical ones). There are other cheaper cars than BMWs out there, but only one ‘ultimate driving machine’ brand.
- ACTION POINT: consider the customers’ emotions at every stage of their journey with you. Their physical needs are always driven by emotional needs: these emotional needs are always a mix of trust, easier or better life and attention. Start looking at EVERY STEP in your customer’s journey, and work out (using feedback as a helpful guide) what the mix is for each step, then start putting in simple fixes, slowly and properly, to move the customer experience forward on every one … and slowly and gradually build in a remarkable experience through systems that deliver consistent results every time.
- Have powerful ‘lead’ measures of the customer experience (and have powerful proactive professional feedback and response systems to gather the information for them). If you don’t have these in place, how on earth can you get numbers one and two right?
- ACTION POINT: consider the stages identified above and start to look for simple, powerful, influenceable measures for the key emotions at the key steps.
- Have continual improvement systems, creating consistent continual cycles of innovation, improvement and customer obsession. Do this slowly and step by step: this is evolution, not revolution!
- ACTION POINT: Slow down and get started! Apply simple step by step systems rigorously without let or hindrance, and keep re-examining yourselves. We call this ‘Go the Extra Inch’.
For anyone who’s busy and stressed, this can seem daunting: you already have too much on your plate! But, remember the good news: just by stating, by taking the first step, you’re putting yourself head and shoulders above your competitors: the key is not to worry about everything, but just to get started on something, and stick at it.
There’s a lot to be done and very little time to do it: organisations across the globe are fighting to steal your customers at this very moment, and your existing customers are reviewing you on the web without your permission or knowledge.
But customers are also very forgiving: if you start to develop these systems (starting with the powerful proactive professional feedback systems), and respond effectively (see our other blogs on how to do this), you can effectively buy enough time and grace to do this properly.
That’s how to increase your price without losing customers: easy to understand, much harder to do: remember the key is to slow down and get started: as soon as you do this, the other stuff will start to fall into place.
(Your only other alternative would be to look for 101 ‘marketing strategies’ that will promise to give you 101 ways to increase your price without losing customers, but will, in reality, just be 101 flashes in the pan that very quickly dump you back where you started (but with more problems to sort out) … you know it’s true, you see it all around you). These are some of the principles and questions we address in Slow Selling: please click here to join our top tips and updates list or, if you have a question regarding your situation and would like a simple answer, drop us a line at [email protected].