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Beating Box-Shifters & The ‘Why Buy From You’ Query

in happier times, a fix that worked


The demise of my travel-Samsung netbook (on which I painfully blogged yesterday) reminded me of notes I made when buying it way back when. In the restricted physical marketplace that is Cape Town.

I ended up with two options. There’s not much choice in, as the losing salesman put it to me, “the arse end of the world”.

The other guy, Nazier, was more forthcoming when I asked him why I should buy from him. At pains to point out he was not knocking the alternative, he gave me this spiel;

It depends where you’re happier buying from.

Let’s say you were after a good, reliable car.

Would you go say to a Toyota dealership, where the staff are knowledgeable and helpful?

Or would you rather go to a Shoprite [that’s a box-shifting entry-level supermarket] where they do cars, but you must make your own way?

I chuckled that he’d attempted such comparisons. Yet the good thing was, he came prepared for such a question.

When selecting my keyboarded companion, I asked the main man, Gavin, what he thought of Nazier’s chat. He clearly quite liked it, even if he hadn’t trained that response in himself. He also went along the generalist versus specialist road and listed the reasons why a laptop was not a commodity purchase.

Still, it is fairly common for someone to ask why they should buy from you over a rival. Most people stutter along a slagging-off route. Never do this. A sizeable minority will give an out-and-out comparison, but plainly putting themselves in the ascendancy.

Hardly anyone won’t mention the opposition at all.

Yet precisely this is the best policy.

Interestingly, as I blog here there’s a pair of by-elections this week in my homeland.

I caught a ‘Town Hall’ with the main candidates grilled by voters from one constituency.

Each got asked for sixty seconds on “why vote for me”.

It was a deflating listen.

As one audience member scathingly summed up, they all talked at length about themselves at the expense of saying what they’d actually do for those living in the city. The pronoun “I” was everywhere. Even where they may have brushed up against ‘what’ they might achieve for the electorate, there was depressingly no attempt at glimpsing the ‘how’ it would be done.

So a double lesson perhaps on beating the big beast, the box-shifter, The Establishment.

The value can be in the detail. Which you can promote in a short sentence. And never trash-talk your opponent.

Are you ready for the ‘why buy from you’ query?

Can you also frame your answer with why you’re the ideal supplier without reference to another firm, whilst enticing with a little after-sale nuts ‘n bolts?

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