Subscribe
PLANT

Beat the low price blues

Many manufacturers sell and market themselves into the price-cutting trap because they see it as the only way to differentiate their offerings from those of their competitors.


May 13, 2011
by Andrew Shedden

Are you singing the low price blues? Many manufacturers sell and market themselves into the price-cutting trap because they see it as the only way to differentiate their offerings from those of their competitors.

How do you know if you are poorly positioned? You’re likely selling at a low level to purchasing agents or junior buyers, cutting into margins to stay afloat and struggling to generate interest in your products. Poor positioning comes from being too focused on things other than measurable business results. Here are some examples:
• Our drill press was voted best looking at the World of Drill Presses show in Las Vegas last year.
• 1,325 precisely machined parts; over 432,317 drill bits in our climate controlled warehouse.
• We are a family-based drill press business with family values. Our staff has more than 325 years of collected experience.

A better strategy is to communicate how your company and products help customers improve performance by: identifying a target market; simply stating the benefits that will flow from doing business with you; describing the product or service you offer; and being of value.

Start by crafting a powerful and simple positioning statement that answers the following questions and use it as the key message in all of your marketing and selling practices: Who are you? What do you do? Why does it matter? Here’s an example: “ABC’s unique drill press program helps aerospace manufacturers reduce waste by a minimum of 37%.”

Be a value supplier, not a price chopper. Reduce the downward pressure on your margins by communicating with clarity how your solution helps customers increase performance.

Andrew Shedden is the president of Broadfield Communications, an industrial marketing consulting firm. Call (800) 353-4447. Visit http://www.broadfieldcommunications.com/plant.htm for the Seven Steps to Manufacturing Profits special report.