Setting your price as market leader: don’t be greedy

Market leader advantages

As a market leader you have the possibility to set a rather high price compared to your competitors as people will consider purchasing from you being the market leader – and they will probably make the purchase as buying from the market leader comes with less risk: they won’t get fired by purchasing from the market leader.

Market leader price setting

However it is better to set your price at such a low level that new competitors will think twice before attempting to enter your market. Even for innovators as they need to recoup their investment over a rather short time span. The higher your price, the more likely they can take the risk as their margin will be higher thanks to your high price setting.

If a new competitor with large pockets from a different market wants to enter your market then you will be more comfortable with your competitive pricing. Moreover you don’t need to introduce more discounts or decrease your pricing – something which your current customers will notice and perceive as you have been ripping them off for too long.

Still the price needs to be high enough to generate sufficient revenue and profit for your company.

Change of the game

This game play you can extend until a new and disruptive technology emerges offering competitive advantages over the existing solutions or at a much lower production cost. However you should see this coming and you will have time to take pro-active actions.

How do you set your sales prices ?

 

To carry many or few product lines ?

Single product line

Companies that sell just one type of product or product line. the positioning and the solution is clear:
- Less marketing efforts needed to explain the product-line
- More chances to get on the short list as your company stands for this type of product
- Sales people have hardly any efforts for explaining
- Short interesting sales pitch
- Niche market that is entirely understood by management
- Focus by management, marketing, sales, production, development
- Potential buyers know what the brand stands for
- Less training required for both employees, distributors and resellers
- Little chance of cannibalization between products
- Disadvantage when lack of interest or new technology makes product line obsolete.

Multiple product line:

Companies that provide multiple product-lines have serious issues:
- Require a lot of marketing efforts to explain and differentiate the different product lines and models
- Less evident to get on short lists for the not best known products
- High sales efforts to explain all the features, differentiators and benefits of all of the products.
- Sales has longer pitches which decrease the attention
- Large number of product lines for a wide range of markets are too much to be fully understood by management.
- Lack of focus
- Potential buyers can be confused what products the brand has
- More training required for employees, distributors and resellers which they hopefully remember entirely
- Chance of cannibalization between products
- Benefit of jumping to other product lines when lack of interest for a certain product line or new technology that makes a product line obsolete.

What’s your opinion on have single or multiple product lines ?

 

Google: The Internet Mobster Organization

Search Result Pages

Once upon a time Google use to be an excellent search engine with an innovative  relevance algorithm that disrupted the starting Internet search industry. One could rely upon the results presented. Over time Google has made many changes to the rules for finding the results and the results presented. Until a few years ago there were only major updates once or twice a year which were more or less documented and explained. Nowadays Google is constantly changing its’ algorithm without much information around these changes. The transparency is gone. The rate and frequency of these changes is so high nobody can keep track of them and we wonder if there are any employees or managers at Google that know the implications and results of all these changes.

Google sells ad space

Moreover as the revenue of Google comes from advertising, more and more results on the search page results are paid advertising links. A large part – if not more than 50% – of the window is occupied by paid links.

Google cares only cares about making revenue by all means. It will attack all methods of traffic generation and website promotion in order to force millions of businesses to compete with each other and forcing them to spend large sums on advertising on Google.

Hence small businesses need to compete with small companies which on their turn need to compete with the biggest corporations. These are getting a preferential treatment from Google because of the massive volume of traffic they obtain and business they bring to Google if they advertise enough.

The Internet Mobster Organization

Google is like a mobster organization coming into your neighborhood and starts blackmailing businesses in order to conform to Google’s demands. In case your business don’t conform then your potential customers are guided directly to the competitors. The businesses willing to pay their bribe to Google.
If a mobster organization would act physically in your street using goons to show customers the competitors, the police would be on them quickly. However on the Internet extortion is completely legal. Except for Yelp which has been accused of extortion of small businesses.

How long can the world continue to live with Internet extortion ?
Let’s hope soon a competitor for Google will stand up or a different form or method for finding or getting links will become available. This is Google’s greatest fear.

Are you paying Google for their extortion ?

 

The Online Length Secrets Mastered

In order to catch the attention of people browsing and flipping through web pages, blogs or social media the length of the header and the length of the message or text is determined:
- Headline scores the best at 6 words
- Email subject-line of 28–39 characters have the highest click rates.
- Title Tags of web pages should be 55 characters in order to avoid cut-off on the Search Engine Result Pages.
- Domain names should be maximum 8 characters long according to Daily Blog Post.
- Blog titles should be limited to 50 characters.
- Blog post should be 1600 words long.
- Tweets should be between 100 and 115 characters in order to be re-tweeted.
- Facebook status length should be 40 characters.
- Google+ headline should be less than 60 characters.
- Paragraph width should be 40 to 55 characters.

Align to these rules and you should score well on the Internet.

Do you have any other guidelines for online length and sizes ?

 

Talk Sense To A Fool And He Will Call You Foolish

Addressing the knowledgeable

The issue we all have in sales is that we need to address and adjust our pitches and smalltalk to the potential buyers.
If the people in the meeting are specialized, experienced and knowledgeable about the products or services you provide you don’t need to give a generic approach. You will need to go into details of the most important features, advantages or benefits. It’s like ‘Cut The Crap’ as they are probably as well informed – if not better – in the matter as you. So you need to show some respect to them by not treating them as absolute beginners.

Pitching to the Newbies

If you would take the same approach with their CEO or COO, who is not specialized in the matters and issues of the solutions and drawbacks of products or services, then the CEO or COO reaction might be that you are missing the point or you miss providing the appropriate solution. This is likely to result in a lost sales as you haven’t convinced the CEO or COO.

Testing knowledge before starting

All depends on the level of knowledge or experience of the people you are having a meeting with. Hence before you start you should inform yourself of the different people in the meeting and try to figure out what is their level about the issues and problems and the products or solutions you and your competitors are proposing.

Mixed party

In a meeting with a significant difference of knowledge or experience you will need to adjust to the lowest level, still addressing the important more specialized for those who are mature in the matters. This is probably the most difficult as you might go to quickly or briefly for the ‘newbies’ and being too generic or not interesting enough for the knowledgeable people.

Correlate

One situation to avoid at all times is to have the less educated or less informed in the matters look stupid or make them feel as lagging behind.

Talk sense to a fool and he will call you foolish.
Meaning a pitch too complex or specialized for ‘Newbies’ will not have you score the sales as they will impose upon the knowledgeable – especially as they are in most cases from a higher hierarchy.

How do you address a mixed party ?

 

Disaster strikes when your competitor gets funding – Not!

You could think your business comes under pressure when one of your competitors receives several millions of funding from investors. You know you will have to going to battle with a much more powerful competitor, having more resources and possibilities.

However the contrary can happen too:

Pricing and margin

The millions are calculated on their current and near future expenses:
They need to money to keep the company going. Or their pricing is way too low (not enough margin) or their overhead is too high. If your company is running break even and thus self supporting your company is in much better shape.

Marketing increase

They will boost their marketing spending:
In order to have a return on the investment as fast as possible, they will need to grow the company fast. Hence they will have a significant increase of marketing expenses.
Your company can only benefit from this as the efforts of the well-funded competitor will draw attention to your market. All of a sudden your market becomes interesting.
The more noise – the more awareness of the market – the more interest – the more potential customers for your company too.
Before people in companies make a purchase they will or have to get comparable offerings.

Employee increase

In order to grow the company, a large number of employees will be hired. The company needs to deal with all these new employees, train them and keep the culture of the company. Training costs money and time.
More employees brings more management tasks and thus overhead, making the operations of the company more costly. Not sure the margin will increase.

The increase of management and social problems

More employees mean people will get promoted or surpassed.
Those that get promoted can get the Peter Principle – not performing well for the company.
Those that get surpassed by not getting the promotion as an external person is selected will not be happy as they get a new boss in a position they would have liked to have. No doubt they will under perform as they are demotivated.

The pressure from investors

The new investors will put pressure on your competitor to get leads and sales.
The sales people will need to score as fast as possible thus they will engage into sales and ventures that just bring sales, not specifically more net income.
Dumb decisions can be made. Investing in the wrong changes of their products or solutions which might turn out very costly in the long run.

The effects

- The awareness for your products or solutions will increase in the market.
- You will have a hard time to compete with the well funded competitor.
- Internally the competitor has many new problems to deal with management and employees.
- Investor pressure to deliver Return On Investment.

Before you know your competitor is running out of steam or funding and will need to go into a next round of funding.
Whereas your company will grow too at a slower pace hopefully without external life support.

Maybe think twice before your company accepts big funding.

Did you or one of your competitors got big funding ?

 

Why do people still buy contact lists ?

Quality over quality

In an Marketing era ruled by Content Marketing and Social Media, Marketers are still buying lists from list vendors. Instead of buying extensive lists like they did 10 years ago, marketers now seem to buy more targeted and thus less populated lists: seems quality rules over quantity.

Listing success

However chances of addressing an interested party remains low as the message needs to be appropriate and addressing the problems that they currently have. Thus person, problem, timing all have to match which drives down the chances of success considerably.

Caller-ID

Wouldn’t it more successful of addressing only those people in companies that have visited your website and have shown interest by multiple people from this company for a defined issue they have or solution you offer. Likelihood of success should be much higher as you eliminate timing, message and problem for your marketing action. This can be easily done using web services that reveal the companies visiting, their interest and their level of interest in your products or solutions.

No Cure – No Pay lists

Still how well targeted the purchased list is, there is no guarantee from the list vendor for success as he only delivers the list. The vendor takes no risk. In other businesses the rule ‘No Cure – No Pay’ is being used. This could be applied for buying lists from list vendors too by paying them a commission whenever a sales deal is closed or when a first sales meeting is organized.
This would certainly changed the business of buying lists as the list vendors become involved.

Why do you still buy contact lists?

 

Addictive Services vs Just Useful Services: Free vs Marketing

Business-To-Business Services

Even in Business-To-Business there are several kinds of services: those that are needed or required and those that are interesting or fun but not really necessary.
Still the biggest differentiation is the not the usefulness or benefits but whether the service is addictive or not.

Addictive services

If your service is addictive then you are able to give it away for free as a trial to as many people as possible. Due to the addictiveness people will start missing the service once the free trial has ended. Just like cigarettes, alcohol and drugs an addictive service will generate its’ own demand. In this case hardly any marketing is needed to stimulate sales.

Useful services

If your service is not addictive but just useful then you will need a lot of marketing efforts consisting of advertising, content marketing and the all important references as without these people just won’t purchase as they don’t see the immediate benefit for them selves.
If you give your useful service away as a free trial, people will find it interesting but not more. Maybe they will miss it if they see a real value for your service.
Supported by your advertising and content marketing people will start to believe your useful service could be important and beneficial seen the amount of interest in the media.

By additionally presenting references the basic interest can turn into a desire to have the service in order:
- To be part of the group
- To be considered as a leader
- Not to lag behind on the rest

Are your services addictive ?

 

Building online trust by the photo of the building ?

The early days of the company website

In the early days of the Internet, when companies just discovered the Internet and when Google was still a start-up, these companies didn’t know what to do with their web presence. What content to publish.
In order to confirm their existence in the virtual world they proof their physical presence by putting the image of their building (or buildings) on their website.

Large and tiny companies all have a website

Nowadays you cannot distinguish major companies from mini companies as a small company can have an impressive quality website with interesting content whereas the market leader can present itself with a mediocre website with plain vanilla content. Just the brand name will make the difference.
A website and content is all about time, investment, effort and dedication which both large and small companies can invest in.
Of course the larger companies are known for their brand name, but how to differentiate as a visitor between a medium sized and a small company in the same industry as they both can have an impressive website.

Website differentiators

Customer references and named case studies on a website are a big plus as it shows the legacy of the company. It is not just the references, but the effort and time put in to get these customers agree upon becoming a reference or a case study. Most customers don’t agree or won’t commit to become a reference or case study. So even a larger company can have less or no references or case studies on their website than their smaller competitor that just got lucky with a few customers that were willing to be a reference as the underdog can get more support or sympathy.

Showing the faces of the management team with their names and function will enhance the level of trust as these people aren’t hiding behind a company name. However small and medium sized companies all do have a management team and all can have great looking pictures of well dressed well behaved people. Thus again that won’t make the difference.

Putting the image of the building on your website can help to build additional trust, just like in the old days. Large building, especially nice looking, still impress people and show the importance or scale of the company. However it will not make your website interesting or bring content quality. The image of the building can help to generate some trust and convince certain decision makers / takers to be on the short list or to have a look into your proposition.

How do you achieve trust on your website ?

 

Can marketing Inflate Sales Price In B2B Too ?

Consumer impulse buys

In consumer business it is almost all about perception of products and brands fueled by marketing in order to be able to sell at higher prices. People buy products of brand names without much rational or reasoning. Many purchases are actually impulse buys and with large ticket buys (like cars) the options are certainly driven by other drivers than real needs.

B2B rational

However the purchase process in Business-To-Business much more rational and reasoning is involved for several reasons:
- Several people from different departments are involved in the purchase process
- A budget has been set previously leaving less room for subjective purchases.
- A purchase decision can weigh on the career of the decision taker (positively or negatively)
- Fear for the risk related to the purchase decision

Marketing influences Sales Price

Still the sales price is influenced by the marketing for the product or for the company brand. Thus even if there are almost two identical products or solutions, the company that influenced the perception with better marketing for the brand or product is likely to be able to sell at higher prices than the competitors.
Through adequate marketing over several years a brand name can become more trusted and obtain the perception of being reliable which allows this company to sell at a higher price as the marketing has created confidence which takes away a part of the decision fear.
It is unlikely people will buy from unknown or lesser known companies due to the fear of risks involved in their buying decision. Instead they will have the tendency to buy from brands that have build the perception of a quality and trusted company.

Hence Marketing does influence the sales price in B2B.

How much does your marketing influence your sales price ?

 

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Engago Technologies provides a B2B web service for marketing and sales.
 

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