Creating Irrefusable Offers: Example No. 1
A relatively small manufacturer had several large accounts in its market. However, due to the firm’s smaller size, the large accounts were quite reluctant to buy from it. Apparently, the buyers were afraid that the smaller manufacturer would not have the capacity to deliver the large quantity orders on time.
By setting about to understand its customers and its market better, this small manufacturer was able to discover that, while the larger accounts bought in large quantities—in order to get the price-breaks associated with such large quantity purchases—the firms did not actually consume the large quantities immediately. Instead, they ended up warehousing them for some period of time.
Here is the customizable/upgradeable offer that got the smaller manufacturer in the door with these big accounts:
“Agree to buy from us in the same quantities you have been buying from our competitors (e.g., 250,000 units at a time). We will match the competitors’ prices for these items during an introductory period—so you can gain assurance that we can deliver and you are fully satisfied with the quality. However, since you generally consume these at a rate of about 50,000 units a month, that is how we will deliver them to you and invoice you for them.
“In this way, we will save you the costs and headaches related to storing and handling the excess inventory. Additionally, you may customize your delivery rate—up to double—for any given month with just an email or a phone call to (XXX) XXX-XXXX and seven (7) days’ notice.
“Once you are fully satisfied with our service and quality, you may upgrade this plan by a) adding more products to the purchase agreement, and/or b) increasing your purchase volume on any product at special rates.”
This offer turned out to be a win-win. It helped the customers improve their results while allowing the small manufacturer to do business with the larger accounts without having to make additional investments in production facilities. (It was hard for the small manufacturer to produce 250,000 units at once, but they could easily produce and deliver 50,000 to 100,000 units a month without fail.)
This offer provided additional benefits for the large manufacturers: By taking delivery and being invoiced for the smaller quantities on a monthly basis, the large manufacturers actually experience improved cash-flow.
Creating Irrefusable Offers: Example No. 2
A pasta-maker wanted to take over a supermarket chain’s ordering process by employing vendor-managed inventory (VMI). When the chain’s management balked at the idea, the pasta company developed its own irrefusable offer. The pasta-maker said that they would park a truckload of pasta on the lot of the chain’s distribution center. If, at any time, the pasta-maker failed to deliver on-time what the chain needed, the chain could take whatever was short from the truck free of charge.
This irrefusable offer gave the chain’s management and buyers the assurances they needed to move ahead with the VMI plan. The pasta-maker, however, was so capable that the truck did not have to remain in the chain’s parking lot for long.
Here, again, we see the irrefusable offer being constructed around Toyota’s definition of quality—the customer’s measure of the experience and improved results. Also note that this irrefusable offer was targeted at a market of one with a consciousness of the customer’s specific needs and concerns.
[To be continued…]