This is the second installment in the Sales Messaging Strategy Consulting series, emphasizing the alignment of sales messaging with product development. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to align selling strategy with sales messaging. The three ways to win in a market are by being the dominant price leader, intimacy leader, or feature leader. If you are unfamiliar with these terms, I invite you to learn more in our BLOG library. Once you know which category your company is best suited to compete in, every part of your corporate strategy needs to match: Sales, Marketing, Product, Customer Service; Everything.
Price Selling Strategy
Competing in price means that you are trying to create an acceptable product for the lowest possible price. The companys that excel in this market segment generally have larger operations so they can take advantage of economies of scale. They may choose not to spend their budget on advertisements and commercials. This allows them to get their product to the shelf for fewer dollars than anybody else. Walking into any gas station, you are sure to find a display of sunglasses for $10 each. No, they are not stylish enough to land you on the cover of a magazine. Do keep the sun out of your eyes for $10? You bet they do. And there’s a big market for them.
Feature Leader Selling Strategy
In Feature leadership, it is important that your product is seen as the coolest option with the best features. Price is not as important of a factor because people are willing to pay a premium to get the “best.” Walking into a snowboard shop, most of the boards look pretty similar. A sheet of wood that you can slide down a mountain on, so why is there a 15X price gap between the cheap board and the expensive? The feature leader is glad you asked!
The high-end snowboards have entire research and development departments determining optimal shape, core, and flex for every board, body type, and weather condition. This makes them better. It may not be significant for the casual weekend boarder, but to someone who competes, all of the little details and research that go into the board make a huge difference to the right rider. The technology in the board is the difference between a gold medal, and being carried down the mountain by ski patrol.
Intimacy Leader Selling Strategy
Intimacy leaders strive to make the experience exceptional. Looking at a mall kiosk massage table vs a 5 star luxury spa package should illustrate the difference intimacy can make. Cucumber water, luxurious robes, eucalyptus and botanical oils; the spa package is an experience, not a back-rub. The intimacy leader’s product or service includes a comfortable experience. Intimacy leaders can charge a premium for removing the busy shoppers whizzing by, and providing the extra value of a foot soak, ambient relaxing sounds, hot stones, etc. It is the attention to detail, guidance through the experience, and genuine effort to make a patron feel special that sets the intimacy leader apart.
There are a million different ways to build the products and services of your business, but which one is right for you? Always be diligent in aligning your product with your sales messaging. This will affect product development decisions to stay consistent with your customer base. Try hiring experts for an outside perspective. It is very easy to get too close to culture, drink the cucumber-flavored-Kool-Aid, and start to compete outside your market niche. Consultants provide a fresh, and objective view of your company’s unique needs, and can help develop a strategy for success.