I decided to buy a book. First I went on Barnes & Noble where the used version plus shipping to arrive in 6-9 days was $6.99 and $3.99, respectively.
Huh, I said. How come shipping is so high when a shiny new book is just $11? I flipped over to Amazon. For just $10 I could purchase my book and have it arrive in one day. Where did I order my book from?
When it comes to business, commodity items (typically durable goods) have quite a few competitors. We can use this concept in our coaching & service based professional businesses to make sure we’re on par with the market value of our offers.
Ready to learn?
Keep Your Eye on the LocalsÂ
If you own a yoga studio, who else in your area sells yoga lessons? You want to become familiar with:
- How much the other studio charges
- What times they teach their classes
- Who their instructors (expertise) are
- Any specials or promotions they run
Asking these questions puts you in the know. It does not mean you should borrow their idea. However, it keeps you realistic when it comes to better serving your clients.
For example, if every other studio offers a “pay what you can” Wednesday, and you charge $20 / class, you may need to adjust your offers to let your clients try before they buy, too.
Pricing is NOT About Your Needs
It is very easy to slip into a mindset where you believe that you need to charge a certain amount in order to meet your overhead costs and/or pay your bills. Stop.
What you charge cannot only be based on the amount of rent you pay for a studio space if the market value of what you offer (i.e. Spanish classes) is easily available elsewhere (a commodity offer.)
Be aware of not charging more money than competitors for the same services because of your own personal needs. If you want a higher price tag on your products, get more specialized. Approach a niche like yoga by offering hot yoga or prenatal yoga. Create a Spanish for travelers class that only focuses on basic communications.
For online businesses, explore how you can also go deeper in order to give more. Including:
- Retreats or mastermind sessions
- Workbooks & planning guides
- Care or welcome packages
Don’t Get Old School…Ever
Features & benefits selling has moved on. Instead of speaking about what your product offers using “we” terms, you need to switch the emphasis to the buyer. In general, old selling sounds like:
- We’re known for our
- Our service can’t be beat…
- Find out why <Name> is #1 in…
You can see just by reading those teasers that this version of sales has nothing to do with what you’re offering the customer, or how you’ll make their life better. As internet sales take over, your web copy needs to quickly give answers.
All of your sales copy should reflect a shift into client-centric language:
- You get
- You’ll find
- We offer you
Know Your UVP Inside & Out
Your Unique Value Proposition is what makes you the best at what you do. It ties into your niche and can be related to your education or personal experiences.
To find yours, you have to think about your bigger “why.” Who do you want to serve? Consider what drives you to get up every single day and go to work.
With a personal brand, charisma plays a huge role. What words, ideas, phrases, or concepts can you use to draw in your ideal clients?
Consider your teaching style. Can you shift the focus to a specific age bracket that you want to serve? Don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to the way that you run your business; this will be the calling card for others to work with you.
To sum up keeping an eye on the competition, the key is to keep your eyes and ears open. You should.