Pella Chronicle

December 7, 2009

How to make the offer your local client can’t refuse

Paul Weyland

When you start showing clients how to attract new business without discounting, you'll go from zero to hero in 4.5 seconds. Here's how.

If every time you saw or heard from me I solved a problem for you, would you be glad to see me? Would you take my call? Sure you would. You could have that same effect on local direct clients. You could be that one person they love to see because you are the only media sales person they know that regularly identifies and solves problems for them. Here's how to make the offer your local direct client can't refuse.

First do some research. Try to determine what keeps that client up at night. Perhaps it's a national discount competitor that is driving your local client out of business. You can see from your local client's advertising that he thinks that the only way to fight back is by discounting his product or service. But clever have come up with a way your client can compete without sacrificing his gross margin of profit. How? By doing his thinking for him. He's certainly no expert when it comes to advertising. That's evident from his cliche advertising usually relying on discounts. He needs someone to help bail him out of the hole he's digging for himself. He'll never win the price war with Wal-Mart. But with your help he will find a better, less expensive way to do business and he will never, ever forget you for it.

What is that one solid thing your client can do that his discount competitors can't do, or can't do as well? Think about that. I mean, really think. This one thing would become your client's identifiable difference. Put yourself in the shoes of your client's potential customers. Could your client identify and solve a problem that some of your listeners or viewers are having? Identify the consumer's pain, frustration or problem. Could your client's identifiable difference ease that pain, frustration or problem? Could this identifiable difference create enough value to the consumer to overcome price objections?

For example, if the client is a realtor could he say that even in a tough real estate market he sold four, five, ten, twenty homes last month? If I needed to sell my house quickly I think I would pay very careful attention to a commercial about a person who sells lots of homes.

Or what if the client owned a restaurant that packaged nutritious family dinners to go? Couldn't he solve a big problem for guilty moms and dads who work late and don't have time to fix healthy meals for their children?

If your client is in the auto service industry, will he loan you a car until your car is fixed? Or, can he arrange to get a rental car at little or no charge to the customer? That means so much to some people. I've had friends and relatives who are so terrified about not having transportation that they'll drive on tires or with brakes they know are bad. Some people will even continue to drive a car when the oil or engine lights are on because they can't stand the thought of being without a car.

Show your client how he could turn his mundane, wallpaper discount advertising message into a welcome public service announcement with no discounts necessary. Your client's message could be a godsend for many consumers when he identifies and solves their problems for them in language they understand.

Does your client have loyal customers that wouldn't mind testifying on his behalf about why they love doing business with him? People believe real people with real stories more than they believe disc jockeys.

Testimonials from your client's evangelists create desire in other people with similar problems.

Get into the habit of identifying and solving other people's problems. When your client finally realizes that your plan for his success is better than his own plan, he'll loosen his purse strings, take your hand and let you lead. You'll be a valuable asset regardless of your rates, ratings, program or format. Those will all become secondary to your value as a trusted advisor and problem solver.