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Target's John Coulter finds out where the retail battlegrounds really are

Opinion: There’s a fight you need to have

A lady comes into your shop, broken laptop in hand. “Motherboard failed. Big Chain said it was cheaper for me to buy new. Do you buy laptops for spares?”

“Sure”, you reply. You agree a price and off she goes, happy.

Later, after opening it up you notice a pin missing from the DC jack. You buy a replacement, fit it and bingo – the laptop works fine. With a bit of cleaning you’ve a nice refurb to sell at huge margin. Kerching. Next.

Something like this ever happened to you? It has to many, I’m always hearing stories – this one’s taken from our customer forum. And there’s nothing particularly wrong with it. Except there’s far more that could be made out of a Big Chain messing up than just getting a cheap laptop.

Overwhelmingly the public wants to shop with you, not the Big Guys. Because you care more about customers, service and product quality. Problem is, through clever marketing, they’re far better at making out they’re better than you. But the real issue is you’re making it easy for them to do so. Because it doesn’t matter how proud you are and how much you gloat over their shortfalls, unless you actually point out you’re better, their message will be the only one that’s heard.

There’s a fight you need to have. It’s not over price – don’t be fooled by their loss leaders – it’s about the truth. Start showing up their pricing by using comparisons. When they mess up, go to the media and use your shop windows to promote their mistakes. You have to get feisty, go on the offensive and tell your side of the story.

It’s time to name and shame. If you’re interested in finding out how you could turn this into a massive win, visit our new and improved blog Shop Talk and read “You can’t win a fight you won’t have (Part 2)”

John Coulter is Business Adviser at Target Components, providing business services for free and without obligation.

Tel: 07854 195 718 Email: john.coulter@targetcomponents.co.uk

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