- Never sell your commodity products on a price basis unless it is a straight value-added, low service content bid, or it is your competitive strategy (a “skimmer”).
- Achieve, measure and sell top quality execution and services – not the generic commodity.
- Have “automated reminders” about the benefits of all service elements.
- To keep from being stripped and shopped: segment customers and treat differently; bundle some extra services to performance and withdraw if necessary; and unbundle services for value-added bid contracts.
- Keep creating new extra services as competitors copy the older ones.
- Weave your commodities and value added services into purchasing systems that are tested, measured and sold on total economic or procurement value.
- Focus on “whales” and achieve large orders in a systematic, repeat basis that generate win/win economics.
- Team-sell target accounts to penetrate, maintain and build “ropes”.
- Install systems on a base of service excellence, relationship equity and partnership trust.
- Measure and document “switching costs”.
- Lower prices when total economics allow it to stimulate demand and drive out and keep out competitors.
- Key account development is a long term process.
- Handle “minnows” in a firm, low-cost most effective and profitable manner.
- Build your customers’ business and economic value, don’t just sell to them, sell through him.
- (e.g.: Seminars; educational bulletins; systems; consultative salesmen.
- See them as subsidiaries and treat them as stakeholders.
- Multiply your selling by turning suppliers and customers into activated testimonials and business growers for you.
- Help them measurable win.
- Ask for testimonials and referrals.
- Turn on customers’ employees to grow their business; which grows ours.
- Remain “close to the customer”: always.
- Team-selling (MBWA)
- Management has a few accounts
- Customer advisory group.
- Practice “positive relationship management”.
- Determine what the customer values and will pay for. Main source of new services.
- Build your services to meet “enoughness and sufficiency” – only what the customer can be educated to value and pay for.
- Remember the degrees of difficulty of the four generic types of pro-active selling.
- More old items to old customers (difficult – x)
- New items to old customers (3x tougher).
- Old items to new customers (10x).
- New items to new customers (15x).
- Never underestimate the difficulty of getting your people to “fall in love” with a new product (for them).
- Rule of 5 – 6.
- Don’t leave men on base at the end of the inning.
- Never underestimate the difficulty of breaking old customer buying habits and forming new ones.
- Most will rationalize that they buy for “price, service, availability”.
- In focus groups, they don’t really know why. No hot buttons, Buy for emotional comfort, out of habit and laziness.
- Recruit fewer, but better (tiger) salesmen:
- Fan their ego-drive, but achieve team cooperation.
- Pay more for penetration than maintenance.
- Must first sell service value; then TPC purchasing systems; and then be a consulting to grow them.
- Must be able to teach and discipline customers into being “partners” and not strip and shoppers.
- Developing, testing, measuring, packaging and selling extra services and getting something for them is tough.
- Have a few good test customers; over invest and educate to get results and testimonials.
- Work the bell-shaped curve of innovative customers from most to the “herd”. Many testimonials are necessary. It takes time.
- But improvements in basic service excellence never to out of style.
- If you are big, act small by decentralizing all service capabilities as much as possible to the local marketplace.
— Use the “nine steps” of systems selling to create win-win deals for you and the customer. Measure success and get testimonials and referrals.
— Raise minimums and/or pricing schedule; tighten terms; strip out or automate services; let customer do work – cash-n-carry.
— Prototypes with measuring systems prevent over-engineering services.
Marketing Guidelines – SECTION THREE