One of the biggest ‘competitive edge’ advantages you’ll ever gain in doing business in Zimbabwe is making it easier for your clients to say YES than it is for them to say NO. It’s called ‘being irresistible’ and it’s the easiest,
fastest and most profitable way to do marketing, get noticed and get paid in business.
As an ambitious entrepreneur, being irresistible should be a primary focus because when you’ve got marketing that is irresistible;
- Your marketing becomes super effective because you’ve got your market’s attention as soon as you arrive.
- Your marketing becomes cheaper because free word of mouth goes wild in your favor. Facebook and social media marketing is all about creating marketing messages that people want to spread.
- People move faster from prospect to customer with less follow up or convincing from you.
- The bank is easy to convince when the market is already lining up to buy from you.
- Joint Venture partners with money, skills, equipment start to look for you, instead of you looking for them
- You can quickly become an industry leader
Basically, irresponsibility really pays off!
Of course everyone thinks they already knows all this, the problem is almost everyone (especially in Zimbabwean businesses) tend to make a huge mistake in implementing it, and it often starts with ‘price’.
The Biggest Irresponsibility mistake Zimbabwean businesses make is thinking that being cheap & being irresistible is the same thing.
“We’ll get attention by being the cheapest, then after our brand becomes known, we’ll slowly put up our prices”.
It makes sense, but it doesn’t work for most, here’s why –
“The Problem With marketing yourself as the cheapest”
When you focus your marketing efforts on price and being the cheapest, you’ll run into three major problems
- You close yourself off from being able to maximize profits from each customer. When that happens, you’re going to have to have a very powerful way to attract a very large number of customers and get them to buy frequently in order to be profitable. You’re also going need the capacity to meet the demand of supplying more units and serving more people efficiently. Most businesses are clueless about how to make these things happen.
- When you brand yourself as the cheapest, you’ll tend to attract a very price conscious customer – the worst kind. A customer like this is statistically very unlikely to follow you as you increase prices later to become more profitable. You’ve trained him to expect you to be the cheapest and he will have a hard time thinking (or talking) of you in any other way.
- There’s always someone out there who is more desperate or better able to be cheaper than you are. If price is your main or only advantage, you’ll be forced to put your prices down even further, when competition get stiffer. It’s typically makes your business very vulnerable to bigger players who can afford to be cheaper or smaller players who are desperate enough to charge less.
Besides being lazy marketing, the lure of being the cheapest is tempting because it comes out of a terrible misconception; “People buy the cheapest products available”.
However, it’s simply not true.
You don’t and neither does your customer. Here’s proof –
- Your home: Did you look for the tiniest, most run down house in the highest density area you
- could find, all to save costs on accommodation? Very unlikely.
- Your Clothes: Are you wearing the cheapest clothes you could find in town? Old 2nd hand, stolen clothes from a downtown China shop? I doubt it.
- Medical Care: If your child needed an important brain surgery operation would you (a) Find the best person you can afford no matter how much they charge or find the cheapest discount surgeon available in Harare?
- Your girl friend: This Christmas, will you be looking for the cheapest possible present for your girl friend, or the most impressive you can afford?
Here’s the truth –
Very few people buy simply on price. They buy the best (most value) they can afford at the time – every time. Only when they can’t tell the difference, or the difference isn’t important, do they opt for the cheapest alternative.
There are two marketing keys for creating an irresistible offer;
1) Offer your customer what he truly wants
2) Reduce or eliminate the real or perceived risk of the purchase.
What your customer wants.
To understand what your client truly wants, you’ll have to move beyond the obvious. For example when someone buys a car he is looking for more than just transport. The Mercedes Benz or BMW buyer is looking for much more than transport, he wants to communicate something about himself. For as long as your BMW newspaper advert focuses on selling transport your offer is going to be extremely resistible – but knowing what someone really wants and offering it to him effectively will make your
Removing the Risk of Purchase.
Anytime two people come together for a transaction, there is an element of risk involved. In most cases, the most risk is on the buyer’s side and understanding how to eliminate that risk is a major part of marketing success.
A few examples
When a woman goes clothes shopping, she wants to avoid the risk that she won’t look good in the clothes she buys or that her friends won’t like how she looks. To avoid this risk she wants to try it all on first and she wants to bring a friend along (social proof). Having no mirrors in your store will immediately reduce your profits.
When an IT Manager buys a new solution, he wants to avoid the risk of disapproval from his boss for making the wrong decision. To avoid this he wants a trial version of the software first (try before you buy concept).
When you buy an expensive flat screen TV, you want to avoid the risk that it will stop working after two weeks. To avoid this risk Manufacturers and TV retailers offer all kinds of guarantees and warranties to eliminate the perceived risk.
So, in conclusion – 3 Steps to the Irresistible Marketing Offer
- Find out exactly what your customer wants and offer it to him.
- Understand and eliminate the real or perceived risks of purchase
- Communicate your offer effectively to the right person.
When you’ve done the above, then you don’t have to be the cheapest, you’ll be irresistible. Even in a place like Zimbabwe, where so many have a limited income, irritable product offers, still trumps “buy because we’re the cheapest” type marketing.