The Price of Televisions and the Cost of Lack of Innovation

There are some incredibly good sales deals for large screen TVs these days. The reason is that there has been no new technology introduced over the past year, so there is no competitive edge available to raise prices. In other words, value to the customer has not increased and can’t be created virtually.

Hence, the stores are doing the only thing they can to drive sales on these items—lowering prices, decreasing their margins, even using the TVs as loss leaders to attract people to other products.

Are you continuing to offer the “same old, same old”? When I was in the training industry decades ago (the product of which is now often called by people I wouldn’t allow to walk my beagle, “the training”) we desperately offered lower prices at year end to make our annual quotas. Clients came to realize this and waited until the fourth quarter for what they called “the fire sale.” This exacerbated the problem. “The training” didn’t improve, or become more creative, or switch to other means of human performance development.

You need to offer innovative offerings to your clients, not simply the same options you’ve provided for years at lower and lower fees. Retail stores do two-thirds of their profit in the fourth quarter, and two-thirds of that in December. I don’t call that “sales.” I call that stupidity.

You don’t want “loss leaders.” You want profit leaders. So develop them continually. I don’t know if Santa Claus delivers a lump of coal if you haven’t been nice, but I do know clients deliver a gallon or red ink if you haven’t been smart.

© Alan Weiss 2014

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