Joe Gutierrez has over 15 years of professional experience in the financial services industry primarily in consumer finance risk & operations. He has held key leadership roles throughout his career. Joe’s primary expertise include operational risk management, risk & control governance, regulatory & audit management, policy & procedure governance, change management, and vendor management. Joe has over 10 years of working directly with senior management. Joe is a strategic/creative change agent, who has helped his employers and clients improve operational risk practices, lead change initiatives and deliver high quality results in a complex cross-functional matrix environment.
The first step is to understand the market price range for each one of your services. As you correctly stated its difficult to get this info from competitors but you can get it from their existing customers. My reccomendation is to target customers whom have services with a competitor and instead of calling to sell your services the purpose of the call should be to ensure your service offering and price is competitive. You will find your target customer is more open to listening to you and you also get some good Intel on your competitors prices and service offering.
The other analysis you must do is determine what your value proposition is. What differentiates you from competitor. You must be real honest with yourself in this analysis because the answer might be there is not much that is different from you to the next company. If this is the case then a low cost provider must be a strategy you consider. If you do have valuable, noticeable differences from the competition you have to do everything possible to make that be known to your target market. Tell them why are you different and right for them.
Hope this helps. I will be glad to have a quick call with you to discuss a common sense approach.
The easy answer is Yes! You must review results on a consistent basis to hold yourself accountable but to also analyze what went well and what did not go well. Too many times business owners fail to make adjustments based on the feedback they are receiving.
Having a mentor or peer you can discuss these results is ideal but if do not have that luxury getting a expert in your industry as a free lance coach/consultant on the phone once a month is a option to consider.
The secret is to understand why this is happening. The key to find this out is being open to what your analysis is telling you. Too many small business owners fail to acknowledge the "what's wrong?" Beak down the drivers into two categories: industry/macro economic factors and your business services/processes. I will be glad to have a call with you to come up with a reasonable approach.
I actually think your asking the wrong question. You should first focus on what differentiates you company from your competitors, otherwise your just another company to the prospective client. Why should I do business with you vs. your competitors? If you have a solid value proposition that answers this question then you should advertise with everyone else, if not, find other sites with less competition.
Every referral plan must consider three key components to drive desired results: 1) Profit Margin - your profit margin will determine if and how much referral incentive you are able to offer. 2) Referral Amount - I can't tell you how many times I have seen referral programs that monetarily are not worth the effort as a customer. 3) Ease of Use - How easy is it to retain the bonus? This a key driver driving behavior.
Hope this helped!
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