Friday, May 27, 2011

How to Charge More and Dominate Your Market

You can't be all things to all clients. And you don't have to be.

To excel, your business should focus on delivering just one of 3 values: price, product or service.

That's according to Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema in their classic book, "The Discipline of Market Leaders." Let's look at each of their options for dominating your market ...

1) Offer the best price (also known as total cost)

Think Wal*Mart and their low prices. Then stop thinking. Because you don't want to go there.

If your biggest edge is your low price, someone can -- and will -- come along to offer your clients a lower one. And they will cease to be your clients. Don't compete on price.

2) Offer the best products
Think Nike, 3M, and Apple. They lead the way with breakthrough products. You could compete there, but it could take years and cost millions of dollars to get known as the most innovative in your market.

3) Offer the best service (also known as solution)
Think Nordstrom, Zappos, and Ritz-Carlton. They lead the way in letting you have it your way. You can compete there, starting today.

And you'll probably outshine your competition before dinner tomorrow if you simply do a few things that cost nothing but a few minutes of time (no MBA needed).

Here are 5 simple ways to get closer to your clients and offer better service:
  • return an email with a phone call
  • write and mail 2 thank-you notes today
  • enclose a personal note of thanks with each shipment
  • send a helpful article or blog posting to 5 clients today
  • call your top 5 clients, thank them for their business, and ask what they need help with this week

Bonus: When you serve more you can charge more without having to innovate more. Nordstrom, Zappos, and Ritz-Carlton are NOT low price leaders, nor do they innovate in anything much beyond service.

You could read all 224 pages of The Discipline of Market Leaders, but here's a 17-word summary: if you deliver better service than your clients expect, you can charge more and dominate your market.

Starting today.

Bio: Kevin Donlin can help you grow your business and enjoy the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. If you're interested in boosting your revenues and profits, please click here.

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