How to Zig While Your Competitors are Zagging…

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Jay Abraham is one of the world’s great business strategists.  He’s an original thinker and a genius in helping his clients find ways to transform their businesses.  His endless curiosity to learn everything about everything and his obsession with transforming business results through better strategy make him a great speaker with a wealth of knowledge that he shares generously.

In a recent presentation I attended, Jay revealed that…

There are really only 3 ways to grow a business:
1. Get more buyers.

2. Get your existing buyers to buy more frequently.
3. Charge more for your products or services.

Doing this well requires discipline, strategic thinking and TAKING ACTION!

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Do business differently.

Jay Abrahams has some core principles for growing your sales that are all based around thinking and acting differently. They are:

  • Look for ways to solve your prospect’s problem differently from your competitors.
  • Do what your competitors aren’t doing.
  • Explain the reason why you’re better than your competitors.
  • Look for ways to partner up and collaborate with other businesses that supply your target customers.

Do what the others AREN’T doing!

Finding new customers and more sales is about thinking differently. It’s about finding new ways to solve your potential customer’s problems. Some examples are:

Harvey Norman – who challenged traditional models of “lay-by” by offering finance options to allow customers to “take their goods home today, then pay later!”

Australia’s Commonwealth Bank – who went full circle from ATMs and branches with minimum tellers to concierge service at the front of the store.

An Australian commercial carpet company – leasing carpet tiles that could be individually replaced as a service instead of selling broadloom that needed to be completely replaced every 5 years.

Studio1 Design – provides an unlimited design service ‘DesignerOnTap’ instead of charging by the hour or by the project. This helps the business’ look unique and congruent at every touchpoint with their customers.

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Do something new to find new ideas.

Working out how to zig while your competitors zagging can be tough. What we now know about human perceptions is that what you know, limits what you see. It’s a whole lot easier to do something different if you expand what you know about your business, your competitors, and other businesses that also serve your customer.

So finding and building a new marketing strategy starts with:

1) Defining explicitly what “everybody knows” about your business and your market – so that you can ask “where is this NOT so?”.

2) Actively extending what you know so that you’ve got access to new ideas and new strategies.

You can achieve this by…

 •Researching and quantifying your own processes. What are you doing that’s really effective? The 80/20 principle is basic to most human activities – and it’s not always 80/20. Some organizations can spend 95% of their time doing things that don’t really matter to the business – and only 5% doing the things that add value to their customers and create sales.

•Researching your competitors – make sure you know what they are doing and how they are delivering to their customers. You can’t do something different if you don’t know what’s being done.

•Researching your wider industry – what are the trends? What’s happening on the edges? (TIP: You do this without leaving home on Amazon. Look at the chapter headings on the contents page and then read the reviews)

•Talking to your existing customers regularly. Find out what their pain points are and find new ways of solving their problems.

•Finding out who else serves your customers – particularly where you have different strengths that complement each other. Explore whether there is a Joint Venture or Alliance you can form. Jay shared a case study of one of his clients in China – A motorcycle maker with a great product but a small distributor network linked up with a lawnmower company that needed a wider product range but had a big network.

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Know YOUR business.

Too many businesses don’t know what part of what they do actually works, and they don’t know how to MEASURE it. Make sure you know these fundamentals of your business:

•The Lifetime Value of your different customers – what is their profile?

•Your customers’ purchasing cycles. What do they buy regularly, when do they buy it and why do they buy it?

When you know the LTV (Life Time Value) of your different customer profiles, you can focus on finding more good customers. You’ll know where your marketing spend can deliver the best ROI. When you understand your customer’s purchasing cycles, you can explore how to make other, valuable offers.

Take Action, Don’t Wait for the Competition.

“Do or do not do – there is NO TRY.” – Yoda

Do something. Look for things to do that are different. Test and measure to see what difference your actions made – and learn from what didn’t work.

Just start with one action, don’t try to do lots of things at once. Keep your focus and track what works. There are lots of small adjustments you can make to increase revenue. Everyone that you do will multiply the results of the others, and over time you’ll build BIG results.

There are many small adjustments you can make to increase revenue. Put them all together and these 10-15% increases will multiply into a lot better performance!!

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Beware technology for technology’s sake.

Technology for technology’s sake, or for “cost reduction” can cost you money and even customers. When the big banks ripped out all the tellers from their branches and closed branches, they lost business. Use technology intelligently – use it to find ways to deliver new solutions to your customer’s problems. Netflix delivered movies fundamentally differently from VideoEasy. Uber delivers car trips differently from taxis.

So there are a few examples of how Jay Abraham thinks differently and uniquely, which really sets him apart. What can you do after reading this post to propel your business ahead of your competitors? leave a comment below and let’s continue the conversation there…



Discover more this topic on this podcast episode I recorded:
The Real Magic Podcast EP64: Now You Too Can Do What Your Competitors Aren’t Doing

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