Over the past few years I have begun to realize a few things about our business and the overall consumer experience. We make money when someone buys a product however we don't sell products. That sounds ridiculous but its true. We sell information, experiences, and relationships. We sell ourselves! People will buy because of who you are. If you are kind hearted, a hard worker, a friend, or an expert people will buy whatever you are selling.
I am so sick of hearing people complain. "Oh we cant compete with Amazon." or the thinking that a customer must have something this second and they will run to a box store to get it. STOP MAKING EXCUSES! If you could buy from a person and directly affect their life positively or you could buy from a billionaire owned corporation which would you choose? It was not until I asked myself that exact question I realized the big boys need to worry about me and not the other way around.
I wanted to share with you guys our strategy and culture so it can help you or your business tackle those negative attitudes.
The first thing you need to say to yourself is "I am not Amazon" or "I am not (insert big conglomerate competitor here)" You will never be able to provide the logistical solutions, the software, the man power, and many other things that big companies can. However you can provide a couple things that are more valuable over the long haul.
Amazons model is to be the everything store. YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE THE EVERYTHING STORE. The damn book about Amazon is literally titled "The Everything Store" That is their strategy not yours. You want to compete with the guy who has made the most money in the world since 2014? We don't and we can't, so we wont. Our plan is to sell something else and its working.
I said to myself what can I do that big competitors can't? The list I came up with was short, The old K.I.S.S theory.
- Personal touch
Two things people! Two things you can do to that the big boys can't.
The first, experience is the tougher of the two to provide. As far as experience goes my family has been selling tools and fasteners since the 60's. We have salespeople in the field every single day. We are friends with carpenters, construction workers, and factory workers. I am friends with new school tool reviewers and social influencers. The people that use our products are close to us personally. Robots, the cloud, and software do not have that experience. People are buying because we know what works for different applications.
As for personal touch, that is simple to provide a customer. If you have ordered from us online you have received a hand written and personalized letter from me. If you order and pick up you meet one of our few employees. If you order for delivery on our trucks you meet the salesperson you bought it from. People want to buy from people they know, people just like them.
I am not a millionaire! None of us are here at Meyers Company are and we don't want to be. We want to be regular people that help get others the products they need to build awesome stuff. When you buy from us you are buying from our family. Regular folks from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania that show up to work every day and grind it out. We do not have drones flying around shipping products or a chief technology officer deploying priceless software developed in house. The only thing we have is our personal touch, our experience, and hard work. That is the attitude more people need to develop, those are the the tools it truly takes to win. Those few things make your business dangerous. Don't ever believe for one second you can't do something because there is a big competitor already doing it. All you need to do is work hard, tell your story, and sell yourself!