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Sandi Bowman
March 31, 2007, 10:37 AM
Hello, Joe,

First, have you actually surveyed your potential market to find out exactly what they want/need (or think they do)? I know you said better prices but, apparently, that isn't the whole story because, as you said, you're competitive but not the cheapest. If pricing were the real issue, you'd have many more folks on board already, tho' you haven't done badly at this point.

I'd suggest you change your modus operandi a bit and give yourself more opportunity to establish a working relationship with your prospect. While it may seem efficient to leave a catalog with them, the mere presence of it brands you as 'just another salesman'. Why not, instead, have a specials handout for your initial intro then, on that same intro 'call' offer to deliver your 'full catalog' on a specific date (say 2 days later)...then DO IT!

In the process of the intro call, ask them directly, what their chief concerns or problems are...get them talking with you and involved. This will show them your genuine interest in their success and meeting their needs. You might even offer to have areas of particular interest to them 'bookmarked' in the catalog when you deliver the catalog on time, as promised. This bookmark can, of course, be a sales reminder/quick reference piece to further impact the mind of your prospect.

Since it's highly competitive there, you need a USP that stands out from the rest of the me-too's. This is critical. What aspect of your products, services, or any additional service you might offer, could you expand upon? It's obviously NOT price...so what else is there? How about personal service as in one individual rep to work with who gets to really know their business and would be available for consultation and problem-solving?

You might offer monthly mini-meetings in which their personal consultant show-tells about new uses for a product, helps with organizing tips/materiels (most body shops really need that), or some such. Make it as unique as possible with the accent on saving time/money and reducing clutter.

If you can offer a complete start-to-finish line of INTEGRATED products that work ideally together (as opposed to mish-mash products that may or may not work well together) so much the better.

Buy 2, get 1 free is good for established clients. You should consider offering 3 lead-in products at a special intro price to introduce them to your line. Ones that logically could start a string of add-on products so you get them using YOUR line exclusively eventually.

It's long but hope it helps spark some good ideas for you. Your letter needs work but that's for another time. Good luck!

Sandi Bowman

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