"But the Market is Too Competitive"

Discussion in 'Affiliate Programs' started by barsha, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. barsha

    barsha Registered Member

    Apr 9, 2008
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    06/20/2007 10:30 PM Quote Reply Alert
    I was asked to post this article that I wrote on Sunday ....


    Does this sound familiar? Does this come into your head or out of your mouth when you look to get into a market?

    Today is Father's Day, and I was relaxing in the sun having a visit with my dad. The visit was a little one-sided since he past away nearly four years ago. As it often does, inspiration comes at odd times. Let me share with you a story that I was just reminded of . . .

    In the early 80s when I was in high school a man moved into the house across the street. We didn't have many move ins as our neighborhood was very stable. As was customary, my father had to drag me across the street to welcome him to the area. Hey, I was a teenager, I didn't want to meet the new neighbor, but I was fortunate, as it was an introduction that would long remember. In the conversation, my father asked him what he did for a living.

    "I sell pianos and I am opening a piano store in the area," he replied.

    This interested my father, even though he was a school teacher, he loved discussing business. It was a passion of his.

    "We just bought a piano," my father followed. "There are three piano stores in the area already, and I visited each one. Each store was empty when I went in and business seemed to be very poor. In fact, we got a great deal on our piano because of that fact."

    The picture my father was painting was why in the world would this man relocate from out of state to open a piano store in an area that was overly saturated with piano stores? This statement, of course, was according to the observations of my father. The next statement has stuck with me ever since. Our new neighbor replied:

    "Just because someone is in the piano business doesn't mean they know the piano business."

    He went onto explain that he had visited each store my father spoke of, acted like a customer and was shocked by the poor treatment he received and the incorrect information he was given. He knew he could capitalize in the market. And capitalize he did.

    One of the first things he did was each piano purchase included delivery, setup, an "in home" lesson and a free lessons for life. The competition thought he was crazy. His prices were higher and his store wasn't the easiest to get to, but he started gaining market share rapidly.

    Taking time away from business to travel to a home to give a free piano lesson would seem like "business suicide" to most business owners. However, when the owner is invited into the home of the customer there is a level of trust that is instantly built. The owner is able to answer question directly, give a lesson and spend time with customers, as every owner of a business should. And best of all, it takes place in the customer's home, where they feel safe.

    Was it a waste of time? Hardly.

    New customers to his store would often state they were there because of the "crazy" story they heard from their neighbor or friend. Each story was a little different, but usually was:

    "My neighbor said that you actually came to their home and gave their daughter a free personal piano lesson? Is that true?"

    The owner said to me just before I left for college that any business owner will tell you that a referral from a satisfied customer is the easiest to sell to. "But," he said, "the customers that walk through my door already have their credit card in hand or check books out. I rarely have to try anymore to sell pianos." People who bought a piano from him only went to his store, they rarely, if ever shopped around.

    And why did he offer free piano lessons for life? Simple. When you walked into his piano store, there was always a piano being played by a real person, not a salesperson. You could see a "lesson" was being given which set them apart even more. How did he do it? He hired local piano teachers and the amount he paid was a fraction of what he made from the customer trust that was gained.

    Take this example to heart. Just because there is a lot of competition doesn't mean that the competition is doing things right. Look for ways you can improve the market, look for "points of difference" that can set you apart in the mind of the customer.

    Do this, and you will dominate as my neighbor did.

    Thanks Dad, for taking me across the street when I didn't want to go. You may have been an English teacher, but I learned one of the most valuable business lessons because of you, and for that, I will be ever so thankful. Happy Father's Day.

    Best Regards,

    Jerry West
    • Thanks Thanks x 15
  2. Black Hat Seo

    Black Hat Seo BANNED BANNED

    Feb 8, 2008
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    Fantastic, perfect in every way and 100% true. This applies to every industry in the world especially online.

    Too often people get the impression that online marketing is sell as much cheap crap as you can to as many people as possible. Not that case at all.

    Take any huge market online as an example. Saturation means nothing if you can provide more value than the other guys. Your customers will do all the work for you.
  3. CoolAdvisor

    CoolAdvisor Supreme Member

    Mar 24, 2008
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    I agree with the author...
  4. Desmodus87

    Desmodus87 Newbie

    Mar 28, 2008
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    Texas, USA
    Excellent In Every Way
  5. sikandar

    sikandar Senior Member

    Mar 15, 2008
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    Your story touched my heart. Thank you for sharing your personal experience and the insights you gained. I agree that rather than getting quick gains one should devote his time and energy to offer impeccable service to the customers and sales will follow automatically.
  6. Atlas

    Atlas Regular Member

    Mar 31, 2008
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    That was nice barsha, thanks for the story
  7. Black Leopard

    Black Leopard Registered Member

    Mar 14, 2008
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    valuable true story...
    Got new ideas on this ...

  8. DaveNL


    May 9, 2007
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    What a great story, this is a great example of how over delivering your clients can work out for you, i agree that on the internet it seems like it is selling as much crap as possible, but if you look further then you nose long is you will see the thousands of opportunities you have to make much more money with a real business then working from fast buck to fast buck, and on top of that make some people happy with your service.

    Thanks a lot.
  9. Black&Red

    Black&Red Regular Member

    Mar 14, 2008
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    Fantastic story! And it's so true.
    Thank you very much for sharing.
    Just got an inspiration, will do one thing I was afraid to do because of competition.

    Thank you!
  10. The Scarlet Pimp

    The Scarlet Pimp Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2008
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    Chair moistener.
    Great! And I'm actually inspired to do some new things.

  11. Guddamit

    Guddamit Newbie

    Apr 11, 2008
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    Excellent story. I'm reminded of my own dad who passed away 12 years ago. He owned a rural store about half a mile from a dairy that sold much the same stuff. While the dairy relied on passing traffic my father personally delivered to the customer's home. Even when faced with a downturn when a supermarket was built in the neighbouring town, it was his personal service that kept his doors open.
    Thanks for the insight, barsha, and the reminder that what being in business is really about.
    Quality customer relationships = money in the bank.