My Business Tips by Tim Shaw May 2008

Your customer might go somewhere else

All of us assume that once a customer, always a customer. Not so. Customers have the money and they choose what they want and when they want it. If we are not available when they want us, they will either shop elsewhere or wait because your product or service is well priced or worth waiting for. It is very competitive out there for service and sales at the moment. Competition for the sale is important. For us in business it’s about being positioned top of mind in your customers head, but price is not always everything.

Listening to radio recently, I heard about a hair salon that charged $25 for haircuts. A competitor moved across the road and heavily advertised $6 haircuts. The existing salon could do one of two things. Drop their price from $25 to $6 per cut (not sustainable) or be creative. So they put up a sign saying “We fix $6 haircuts!” They kept customers and attracted new ones as well.

I think local business needs to get creative every day with ways to meet competition from the big boys (who lead by price or finance terms so often), but your business is better positioned to be more flexible and creative with product and special offers or in some cases availability of personnel at a fair charge for service..

Imagine your business is like a daily news bulletin and you need to add a news item to the northern beaches customer news service. What could you email me now to which would be news worthy to customers? Just try it. Sit in front of the computer, type me an email and tell me what you do. Then in 20 words or less, try and compel me to get in the car and buy your service, or order online at your website or pick up the phone and give you my credit card number. Try and make the offer simple and value related, but value for professional service or product does not always mean lowest priced. Can you add value to a ubiquitous product offering but tailor it with your own special pizzazz?

As I have said many times, sit down with your team and ask them what they think should be on the daily news bulletin in the office, anyone that talks to a client can simply say ‘by the way, today we are offering…’ Very simple and effective communications works best internally and externally. Sometimes you need to sell people what they need, not necessarily what they want.

Don’t forget. Email me your ideas and I will give you some feedback. I might even come down and design some ways to grow sales for you personally. Let’s talk!

Happy Selling!

Tim Shaw can diagnose sales and marketing opportunities available for your business today. Tim is available as a keynote speaker for your next sales meeting or conference. Visit or contact Tim directly at

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