Transactions can be immediate or transactions can happen over time.
The purchase of a “Flashing Blue Light Special” is an immediate transaction. I give you something. You give me something. Now we’re done. Transactions like these indicate an Exchange Market where customers are in Transactional shopping mode.
Make no mistake about it: Big things can happen fast when you make the right offer in an Exchange Market.
The danger of an Exchange Market is that customers can be lost as easily as they were won. You might sell 10,000 customers in 2 hours but these customers were never attracted to you, they were attracted to your product and its price. If a snazzier product comes along, or the same product at a better price, “your” customers will become someone else's customers.
It is extremely difficult – but not impossible – to build a strong company using the methods of an Exchange Market. K-Mart thought they knew how to do it. They were wrong. (K-Mart and WalMart are 2 of the case studies we’ll reveal in our upcoming class, How to Make Big Things Happen Fast. If you want to leap forward in 2010 you really need to come.)
Growing a fruit tree, winning the heart of a woman and building a brand happen over time, like putting money in the bank and receiving interest on it. Big miracles that happen slow and steady are the product of Exponential Little Bits. Transactions like these indicate an Interest Market where customers are in Relational shopping mode.
If you buy gasoline wherever it happens to be cheapest this week, you buy your gas Transactionally. But if you buy your gas from the same one or two places, you’re buying your gas Relationally. Maybe you know why you always go to those places. Maybe you’ve never really thought about it. Doesn’t matter. You’re making your decision based on something other than price-per-gallon.
Half the nation buys gasoline Transactionally. The other half buys gasoline Relationally. Both halves are convinced they are typical. Ask them questions about advertising and marketing and they’ll tell you with deep conviction everything you need to do to begin selling “everyone.” In the end, you’ll be as confused as a termite in a yo-yo.
The keys to winning short-term, Transactional customers in an Exchange Market are:
1. Make a compelling offer and
2. Impose a time limit, or
3. Make a limited quantity available.
The keys to winning long-term, Relational customers in an Interest Market are:
1. Specific details.
2. Honest evaluation.
3. Deliver what you promise.
(And be sure to leave a little bit unpromised so you can add “a delight factor.”)
The things I’ve told you today are true and reliable. But if these things were all you need to know, we wouldn’t be having a 2-day workshop, now would we?
Jon Spoelstra has written a number of bestselling business books. So have I.
I like Jon a lot. His talents and preferences are exactly the opposite of mine. That’s why he was chosen to co-teach How to Make Big Things Happen Fast.
Would you like your company to be 1 of the 5 that Jon and I develop to show the rest of the class how it’s done? Between the two of us, Jon and I have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in countless real-world experiments over a number of decades. These dollars and years allow us to separate good ideas “that ought to work” from the good ideas that actually do.
A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid that mistake altogether.
Be the wise man. Come and learn How to Make Big Things Happen Fast, March 30-31.
Roy H. Williams
“Many of us look at something we want and think, ‘I would do anything for that.’ But we’re unwilling to daily do the little disciplines of life that would get us there.”
– Ryan Walker, Hope in the City
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