Author: Jeff Pugel

Why you’re hearing “We went with someone cheaper”

Are you hearing the dreaded “we went with somebody else who was cheaper” too much lately?

The brutal truth, if you’re always competing on price, it’s because there’s no discernable difference between you and the competition.

If you feel like you’re always competing on price, it’s because price is the only relevant variable that you’ve given your prospects to consider.

There have been no additional parameters, or relevant issues introduced, to educate your prospects as to what really constitutes the best value when it comes to buying what you sell.

From the prospects perspective, all things appear equal, so they default to the business offering the lowest price.

It’s not your fault….because every business school teaches the same old theory based on a broken model.

All you have to do is figure out what’s important to your prospects and educate them as to what constitutes the best deal when it comes to buying what you sell.


The first one who does this WINS all the most profitable customers available.

It took me years to figure this out and I worked in advertising agencies!

The first who does provide prospects with this information wins all the most profitable customer available.

When marketing is done improperly, the end result is predictable – you start to feel intense pricing pressure and you’re forced to cave in, lower your prices, destroy your margins, and make less money than you should just to stay competitive.

Have you ever had to compete on price?  What happened?

A key towards attracting higher paying clients

What type of Business Owner are You?

I’ve noticed that there are two types of Small Business Owners & Entrepreneurs:

  1. The ones who try to be the lowest price solution and attract the hagglers, cheapies and people who never have money.
  2. The ones who position themselves as high end, credible experts who command top dollar and attract people with money who are willing to put in the work.

If you want to be successful, you need to be in the latter group.

Being the lowest price solution is a race to the bottom that you will never win. You will always attract the worst clients – the ones who don’t have any money, are constantly haggling and trying to negotiate, and are generally the biggest pain.

On the other hand, when your positioning is right, you can get on a sales call and they’re already prepared to buy, it’s just a matter of discussing options and details. There’s no negotiating, no “I don’t have the budget” or questioning, “Is this really worth it?”

You want a high end, high touch PREMIUM energy and messaging & positioning that attracts high end DREAM clients.

So ask yourself – are you positioned as a low end or bargain expert? If so, that’s the kind of people you are going to attract. But if you want to be successful, you need to be positioning yourself as a high value expert who commands top dollar.

What camp are you in?

Are you using the right offers to compel your prospects to engage with you?

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know that it can be tough to find new customers. You’ve probably put together a list of potential offers that you could make to prospects in order to win them over, but there’s a good chance that your list doesn’t include some of the most effective offers.

Most companies make the mistake of only using one type of offer, which limits their results. That is the incentive offer.

This is the classic “Buy Now” approach.

Not only are these often ineffective, but they can also be damaging to your business.

There’s three problems with Incentive Offers I see:
1.) You sacrifice price and profitability, and it’s easy for buyers to comparison shop.
2.) It also trains buyers to only respond to this type of offer.
3.) It’s only relevant to the 1-3% of buyers who are in “buy now” mode

The better solution is the Informational Offer.

This can be free reports, e-books, self assessments, or other informational products.

The benefits are many:
1.) It appeals to the 97-99% of future buyers while also attracting those who are ready to buy now
2.) Builds trust
3.) Establishes you as the expert
4.) Builds relationships

It’s important to have the right offer at the right stage in order to win new clients.

Having an incentive offer may entice someone to take a look, but it’s an informational offer that will ultimately close the deal.

Not having the right offer at the right stage can mean leaving revenue on the table, so it’s crucial that you take the time to understand what type of offer your potential client needs.

Create an unfair competitive advantage by optimizing the right things, in the right order, at the right time.

We want things—it’s a subconscious process.  There is no way around it, and it happens instantly: nice jacket in the shop window, I want it.   Coke commercial on TV, I want it.  We don’t control the desire so much as acting on the desire.  We understand this, seemingly, when it comes to Coke, but we don’t seem to understand it when it comes to running our businesses.

Businesses are optimized to do something for the owner.  If we don’t ask ourselves what we’re optimizing them to do—we don’t get it.  It’s really quite that simple.

Businesses can be optimized for different outcomes: cash flow, asset growth, etc.  My biggest question, when I work with someone, is this one: do you plan to sell it?  To anyone—do you plan to sell it to your employees?

Because everything changes the minute you plan to sell it.  Until that point, if you love the work, and you’re looking for cash and it does cash flow, you can meet your goals.  But if you want someone else to give you an exit—where you are not their employee—you can’t be the bottleneck.  We have to get the business to a point where it runs without you.

The problem with that is it makes plain every problem in the business—you’re not there to solve those issues—which you’ve probably been doing for the last decade or more.  A process has to solve it, or a person has to solve it.

That is expensive, or time consuming.  Often both.

The payoff is, when all that is solved, you’ve got a cash flowing asset that is also a saleable asset.

One of the first conversations I have with new clients is: where are we ten years from now, and what did we do with this business to get you there?

If we know that, we can get to work.

Why You Can’t Give Up

Too many people give up at the first bit of resistance and then claim that things don’t work when in actuality, they abandoned things too soon. Reality is full of challenges and obstacles. How do you overcome them?

You can’t give up.

Success doesn’t happen right away.

I played golf over the weekend and was excited for the round as it was my league championship and I thought that I could have a good chance to place in the standings if I had a solid round.

Things didn’t work out as planned.

It took me till the 18th and final hole to get my first par of the day.

I usually have four or five pars in a normal round.

I shot my second worst score of the year.

It was one of those rounds where nothing went my way.

No favorable bounces.  No lucky shots.  Nothing to brag about after the round.

It was 18 holes and five hours of just grinding it out.

Quitting and walking off the course wasn’t an option.

Too many people give up at the first bit of resistance and then claim that things don’t work when in actuality, they abandoned things too soon.

I’ve had clients who have bailed on campaigns when they did not see immediate results on the first try and then wonder why they are continually stuck.

Reality is full of challenges and obstacles. How do you overcome them?

The answer is simple, but not easy.

You have to keep going.

You have to persist through the tough times and continue to work towards your goals.

Only then will you be able to achieve success.

Remember, if you want something bad enough, you have to be willing to put in the hard work required to get it.

There are no shortcuts in life. So don’t give up on your dreams, no matter how difficult they may seem at times. Keep pushing forward and eventually, you’ll reach your destination.

Giving up will only lead to failure while persistence leads to success.

Choose wisely!

One Problem Entrepreneurs Have in An Over-Crowded Market Place is NOT Lead Generation

There’s no shortage of advice for entrepreneurs these days.

Consultants, “gurus”, books, articles, and online courses all promise to provide the answers to success in business. But with so much information out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start—or what to believe.

👉👉👉In an over-crowded market place, the #1 problem entrepreneurs have is not lead generation, it’s strategic positioning.

So what is Strategic Positioning?

Strategic positioning is the process of differentiating your business in a way that makes it more attractive to your target market than the competition. In other words, it’s about finding a “sweet spot” in the market where you can excel and stand out from the rest.

There are a number of ways to achieve this, but three of the most important are:
1. Focusing on a specific niche or target market
2. Offering unique products or services
3. Creating a strong brand identity

1.) Focusing on a Specific Niche or Target Market

One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is trying to be everything to everyone. They think that by casting a wider net, they’ll have a better chance of catching customers. But what they don’t realize is that this approach actually works against them. When you try to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one.

A better approach is to focus on a specific niche or target market. This allows you to create targeted marketing campaigns and develop products or services that meet the specific needs of your ideal customer. As a result, you’ll be able to build a loyal following of customers who are more likely to buy from you again and refer others to your business.

2.) Offering Unique Products or Services

Another mistake entrepreneurs make is failing to offer anything unique or different from their competitors. In today’s marketplaces, customers have more choices than ever before—and they’re not afraid to switch brands if they feel like they can get a better deal elsewhere.

To succeed as an entrepreneur, you need to offer products or services that are truly unique and differentiated from what’s already out there. This could involve providing a higher quality product, offering more personalized service, or coming up with an innovative new solution to a problem your target market faces. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that sets you apart from the competition and gives your customers a reason to choose you over them.

3.) Creating a Strong Brand Identity

Finally, one of the most important things you can do as an entrepreneur is create a strong brand identity for your business. Your brand will be what customers think of when they hear your company name—so it’s important that it reflects the values and attributes you want to be known for.

Some aspects you’ll need to consider include your company name, logo design, tagline, and overall website design and tone of voice. It’s also worth thinking about how you want your company to be perceived by others—are you friendly and approachable or serious and professional? By taking the time to develop a strong brand identity, you’ll help ensure that your business makes a lasting impression on those who interact with it.

With so much advice out there for entrepreneurs, it can be difficult to know where to start—or what/who to believe.

In an over-crowded marketplace, a key problem entrepreneurs have is not lead generation; it’s strategic positioning.

Strategic positioning is the process of differentiating your business in a way that makes it more attractive than the competition—and there are three key ways to do this:
✅ by focusing on a specific niche or target market
✅ offering unique products or services
✅ creating a strong brand identity.

So by taking the time to position your business strategically, you’ll set yourself up for long-term success in even the most crowded marketplace.

How one entrepreneur saved an hour a day by Marke Kondo-ing her email inbox

Do you ever feel like your inbox is taking over your life? You’re not alone. In fact, the average person spends 2.5 hours managing their email every day. That’s a huge time suck!

But what if I told you there was a way to take back control of your inbox and free up some of that precious time?

Here’s how.

The secret is to set up a burner e-mail account.

A burner email account is an email address that you use for temporary purposes or for subscribing to newsletters, unsubscribing from unwanted emails, and so on.

This way, your primary inbox stays clean and uncluttered. You can set up a burner email account for free with Gmail, Outlook, or any other email provider.

Once you have your burner account set up, the next step is to start moving those unwanted emails over.

To do this, simply unsubscribe from any newsletters or other emails that you no longer want to receive.

Then, set up a filter, or change the email address, so that all future emails from that sender are automatically forwarded to your burner account.

This way, you can check them all at once instead of having them clog up your primary inbox.

Finally, make a commitment to yourself to check your burner account once a day—or even once a week—and delete any unwanted emails.

By taking control of your inbox, you can save yourself precious time—time that you can use to grow your business or just relax and enjoy life!

A client recently did this and saved over an hour a day by this one little change.

In addition, by decluttering your inbox, you’ll be less likely to miss important emails since they won’t be buried under a pile of junk mail.

So go ahead and give it a try—you might just be surprised at how much better you feel when you’re in control of your inbox!

If someone says “growth hack,” do this as quickly as possible

I feel if you hear someone say the word “Growth Hack” that you should run the opposite direction as fast as possible.

Usually what follows is bad advice that leads to a frustrating experience.

I keep seeing entrepreneurs make this same mistake over and over and wonder why they’re stuck.

They’re always looking for that next big thing.

As a result, they get distracted from the basics and end up running in place, instead of growing their business with a strategy focused on its true potential.

I’ve seen this over and over again as an entrepreneur myself.

As a result, I often hear the same thing: they’re desperate for growth because they believe there’s some secret sauce out there promising easy growth – when really all you need is to focus on what matters and is working right now.

There is no silver bullet or magic trick when it comes to achieving your goals.

A successful business needs strong foundations that were established decades ago – not just some fad or growth hack.So take the necessary steps now to get back on track before it gets too late.

5 Business Growth Strategies Used By Top U.S. Companies

I was asked by a friend and client, Matt Sonnhalter of Sonnhalter, the pre-eminent business-to-trade focused agency, about what tips I’d give on some easy to implement growth strategies any business could implement.

In short, these are the five business growth strategies:

1) Define Your Company’s Ideal Buyer Profile
2) Know When a Lead is Engaging With Your Company
3) Provide Your Leads With a Solution to Their Unique Problems
4) Separate Yourself From the Competition
5) Modernize Your Marketing Techniques

To get all the details and dive deeper, click on over to the Sonnhalter blog to read more.

3 Foolproof Ways To Soar Through Inflation

Are you a small business owner who is worried about the inflation rates we’re seeing take over your profits?

Inflation is a reality whether we like it or not right now.

For small businesses, this can mean higher costs for materials, goods, & Services.

Inflation can seem like a scary thing, but it doesn’t have to be.

There are many ways to combat the impact of inflation and maintain, or even grow, your business!

I’ve put together three foolproof tips on how you can help your business soar through this crazy period of inflations.

So continue reading on LinkedIn by clicking here and get started planning for a successful future in spite of rising prices!