What You Sell vs. What Customers Buy?

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February 28, 2013 – ISSN# 1545-2646


                            What You Sell


                      What Customers Buy?

When I ask the above question, it is always interesting the answers I get from business people. In a commodities focused business world, many people answer with the tangible items they ultimately physically deliver to the buyer such as food, car, TV, phone etc.. In reality it is not just the food, car, TV, phone that the customer is buying but many other factors influence that buyer well before the final transaction takes place.

Things such as – Is your business easy to do business with?  Are your employees genuinely interested in taking care of the customer? Is your store pleasant to visit – colors, smell, etc..

In times of financial strain, customers vote their approval of your business with their hard earned dollars.  When they repeat purchase from your establishment they not only cast an additional vote but confirm what you are doing fits with their buying needs.

Customers today are very needy. They want their “stuff” personalized to their own requirements. Consider the coffee house treatment for a minute.  A customer can order their coffee to exacting specification – milk, half and half, soy etc.. They expect their specifications to be met each and every time.  For that treatment they are willing to pay multiple dollars for a .25 cent cup of coffee with a brand logo on the side of the cup.

To prove a point, earlier this year one of the coffee leaders introduced an more “expensive” coffee to its’ loyal clientele.  They figured that a $7.00 cup of coffee was not much to ask considering their regular customers were already paying $4.00 per cup by the time you added up all the extras.

Maybe I’m no connoisseur of specialty coffee but I just have a difficult time forking over that much money for a jolt of caffeine. Oddly enough there are some that want it and are willing to pay for it enough times for the provider to make it part of their offerings.  They understand what their customer is wanting and with that research, they are providing that personalized product to meet with their needs.

I might view this as they sell coffee.  Their $7.00 per cup customer obviously has a different view of the transaction.

This week take a look at your business and what is it that you are selling vs. what are your loyal repeat customers buying.  Are you providing to their need for a personalized product or service?  Are you missing a potential growth in potential customers by changing up your product offerings? Are your employees understanding to what ultimately the customer is buying vs. what you sell and deliver?

After looking around at your business and capturing a few thoughts on what might need to be changed, set in motion just one thing you want to test out.  Put a plan in place and gather some facts.  Then move your plan from research into profits by changing up what you thought you sold vs. what your customers are actually buying.

Do you really know what differentiates your business?  Give JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945 or send us an email to discuss.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Office at (313) 527-7945

Copyright – JKL Associates 2013

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