stand out without lowering your prices.
products or services you offer perceived by potential customers as being
mere “commodities”—(more or less the same as the others offered by other
florists)? When that happens, customers revert to the easiest
marketplace or online, there is likely someone offering similar products
or services for lower prices than yours. And with the Internet, it’s
easy for consumers to find them.
products and services are indeed different but consumers don’t get that
and put you in the same category as everyone else, you can change their
perceptions by changing the way you describe what you do. Your goal is
to get a potential customer thinking, “If I don’t explore this flower
shop further, I could be missing a good thing.”
you describe what it is that you do for a living? Most of us
automatically “commoditize” our job. We say, “I’m an insurance broker,”
“I’m a personal financial advisor”—or “I’m a florist.”
giving that type of label to what you do to a potential customer at an
event of some sort. The words “I’m a … ” imply that there are other
people who do exactly what you do. In other words, you sabotage your
uniqueness with your first two words.
Be a pain
than describing yourself in terms of a generic label, refer instead to
the ultimate benefit you deliver. Keep in mind that there are two ways
to describe benefits: One is the pleasure gained, and the other is the
financial advisor, for example, might describe his or her service as
“helping people retire in comfort” (pleasure gained) or “preventing
people from having to work until they die because they can’t afford to
retire” (pain avoided). Interestingly, when it comes to spending money,
consumers are more often motivated by avoiding pain than gaining
of course, is not to ramble on about what you do; that sounds boorish
and pushy. Instead, say only enough to pique the listener’s curiosity.
probably heard networking “experts” state that you’re supposed to have
an “elevator pitch” (a 30-second commercial ready to recite). The
problem is that when you’re talking with smart consumers, the 30-second
infomercial sounds phony and contrived, and it turns them off more than
it piques their interest.
when someone asks you what you do for a living, reply with a simple
one-line ultimate benefit, such as, “I help people convey sentiments and
express their emotions.” With this answer, you’re more likely to
stimulate the other person’s curiosity. His or her next question
naturally becomes, “How do you do that?” Now you’ve been invited to
describe your products and services in a more compelling way.
into their heads
point in the conversation, you can describe what you do with an example
that the customer can relate to. An easy way is start with the words,
“You know how … ” Then complete the sentence explaining how your
products or services fix a common problem.
example, when the person asks you how you “help people convey sentiments
and express their emotions,” you might respond with something like, “You
know how it’s sometimes difficult to find the right way, the right time
or the right place to say ‘I’m sorry,’ ‘I’m thinking about you,’ ‘Thank
you’ or even ‘I love you’—especially if you’re far away? Well, flowers
can express what you might not be able to, often in a more eloquent and
memorable manner, and we can get them delivered quickly, too, if
representing your profession and your products and services this way,
you will differentiate yourself in the minds of consumers. You will
stand out as offering a one-of-a-kind product or service. And price will
become less of a source of comparison.
beauty of the relevant example is that it applies to the other person’s
circumstances. That’s why it’s helpful to start any conversation by
finding out about the other person. It also happens to make you a more
interesting conversationalist because you’re discussing most people’s
bottom line is the next time you need to set yourself apart from the
competition—beyond just lowering prices—change the way you talk about
what you do for a living.
article is based on the bestselling book, Influence with Ease, by
customer service strategist and certified professional speaker Jeff Mowatt. To obtain copy of this book or to inquire about engaging Mr.
Mowatt for your team, visit www.jeffmowatt.com or call (800) JMowatt
PO Box 4368
Topeka, KS 66604
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