In the late 1970's, as more and more small and medium size businesses selling the same products and services I was selling opened in my market, I thought, "It cannot get any more competitive!" I was wrong. In the 1980's the big box discounters came to town with bigger and brighter stores. As I watched my sales start to decrease and my customer base erode I knew I had to do something to stop the bleeding and start gaining sales and profitable customers quickly.
I could not out advertise the competition. They had what seemed to me unlimited dollars to spend. But I could out market and outsell them by becoming a more 'Professionally Aggressive' marketer and seller.
Aggressive Marketing - is how you get more customers in your front door, to call you or to accept your call.
Aggressive Selling - is how you get the customer to exchange their money for your products and services.
Professional Aggressive Marketing and Selling is NOT:
- Lowering your selling prices.
- Increasing your overall marketing costs.
- Working more and more hours.
- Becoming a loud, pushy, in your customer's face obnoxious seller.
Professional Aggressive Marketing and Selling IS:
- Aggressively doing what the competition cannot or is not willing to do.
- Daring to be different by differentiating yourself from the competition.Using marketing and selling techniques you are not now using, and using marketing and selling techniques your competition is not using.
- Discovering new and better ways to solve your customer's needs and problems.
- Looking at things from only one point of view. The Customer's Point of View.
Like yours, my customers are busy with driving the kids to and from school, the kid's social activities and their own clubs, meetings and social events, not to mention the hundreds of things they are doing to maintain a household, job and/or business. To save time your customer is a regular at fast food outlets, ATM banking, fast checkout lines, pay at pump gas stations and many, many more timesaving facilities. All this timesaving activity tells us the customer is telling the seller:
- "MAKE IT QUICK FOR ME. I do not have time to waste."
Business names with words like "Quick," "Jiffy,"
"Instant," "One-hour" and "Speedy" are common.
Jiffy Lube International, which offers a ten-minute oil change, has grown to over one thousand
outlets. Even overnight mail is not fast enough for your customers. Facsimile machines and email are
now widely used to transmit documents across the world in seconds. Your customers constantly
patronize fast food restaurants, drive through banks, and drive through car washes.
- "MAKE IT EASY FOR ME TO UNDERSTAND YOUR BENEFITS."
Aggressively listen to your customers. Listen to what they want the product to do. Listen to their
problems they want solved. Tell them the benefits they will obtain from buying your product or
service. Tell them why they cannot live without your product or service.
- "MAKE IT EASY FOR ME TO BUY."
Be aggressive with flexible options for them to pay by cash, finance, use charge cards or lay-a-way.
Have flexible delivery schedules to accommodate their schedule.
- "DON'T LET ME DOWN."
Aggressively do what you say you will do. Deliver on time. Make the paperwork easy.
Be easy to get in touch with. Give the good service you promise. For years the #1 Rule in Selling was: The one who solves the customer's needs and problems the easiest for them will get the sale.
In today's highly competitive markets it is:
The one who aggressively solves the customer's needs and problems the easiest and fastest for them
will get the sale.
One of the best explanations I ever heard of being professionally aggressive to solve a need or problem came from Reggie Jackson, the great home run hitter for the New York Yankees. During a keynote presentation when Reggie was the spokesman for Hitachi Electronics he told the audience how he became a great home run hitter, even though he was not a top-notch athlete, and how he always succeeded in everything he attempted, even though he was only of average intelligence and ability.
Reggie Jackson's father taught him to always be aggressive and practice W.I.T. Whatever it takes! The story he told that evening was about how one of his duties as a young boy of 10 years old was to purchase his father a pint of Neapolitan ice cream (vanilla, chocolate and strawberry) every evening. His father would give him a quarter and off to the corner grocery store he would go. One evening the grocer was sold out of Neapolitan ice cream. Did little Reggie go back to his father and tell him of the problem? NO. He had learned to be aggressive. He went to his uncle's clothing store a few doors down from the grocery store, borrowed fifty cents and purchased a pint of vanilla, a pint of chocolate and a pint of strawberry ice cream.
Aggressive W.I.T. - Whatever it takes to deliver the customer the very best service and to solve their needs and problems is what the top sales producers practice.
"I never want to be remembered for the products I sold my customers. My competition sells the same products.
I want to be remembered for the great Professional Aggressive service I delivered."