How to beat the choppers and slashers
Howdy there price shoppers…
Shopping for prices, the occasional Special, buy one get one…all parts of what is known as your Pricing Strategy. These may be temporary or a buying incentive. That happens in nearly most industries, based on many different factors.
In some Industries the Specials/Discounts become regular price strategy. Take the grocery business with a weekly special that comes out on Thursday. That’s their price strategy, it’s done every week, BUT in this case also done to meet SPECIFIC buying patterns.
65% of the grocery business occurs with a major one-time shopping experience Friday/Saturday/Sunday. Then it’s fill-in the rest of the week.
So you need the Specials to draw customers in to start with. Confuse the customer with a lot of products, and some loss leaders. Works even better.
But for today I’m ranting about the idiot companies that come into this market, and in order to buy market share cut the hell out of their price. Suppliers, Distributors and PMP’s.
In the Pest Control Service Industry customers buy on 3 key influences: safety, ability to solve the problem, and then price. It’s even argued that there may be other influences before price, such as ease of use for me as the home owner.
So why under-cut? Because they can’t meet the customers other needs as well as their competitor.
The old tried and true 3-legged stool of business still applies. Identify the three key buying components in your Industry:
- Customer service – easy to reach, there when promised, no call backs or re-scheduling, professionalism etc,
- Technical Ability – you can take care of the problem, effectively and efficiently
- Price – within reason, but you don’t need to be the cheapest.
To succeed you have to do significantly better than your competitor on at least one leg, and be equal on the other two.
Under-cutting prices to gain rapid share doesn’t help anyone, but is used by companies because it’s all they know. It’s driven more by some larger”Corporate Companies”, where profits, expenses and bottom lines can be swallowed up and hidden. They want presence and share, once that’s achieved they start to raise price. If they can.
How the hell do they do it?
Simple – lose money short term. Let it be absorbed by the rest of the business for a year or two, then see where they stand. In many instances they may have the lowest price in town, but someone else has figured out a way to do the same job while making profit. They focused on the other two legs of the stool and found that price isn’t as major an obstacle as thought.
In this Industry I would focus on my customer service, professionalism, and getting rid of the pest in the most efficient means possible…
Then charge whatever you think is fair…
You’ll be surprised when you tell a customer “I’m not the cheapest, but safe methods and products are my focus, and I can take care of your problem”
Just make sure you stand by your words, and they’ll never shop for another service company.
No matter how much they under-cut…