“We’ll Beat Any Price!”

You’ve heard it, maybe even said it, but what it means is you’re usually beating profits down as well. The BID process is a dangerous place to play. I much prefer the AUCTION process where people are trying to “one-up” everyone else and win the prize. Looking at the low bid or lowest price is not as much fun as watching competition bidding up the price to see who wins. And no matter who wins that bidding war…YOU WIN!

You’ve seen it at your local auction when that certain vehicle rolls down the lane. You’ve seen it on TV with Barrett Jackson or some other BIG SHOW that puts a vehicle in a certain light and while the circle of buyers grows smaller the price goes UP! What a concept. “Sure that works for them, but not for me,” I’ve heard dealers say. I can’t do that. Why not? Lots of dealers and individuals are doing it every day.

It’s called the PASSION Formula.

And in this marketplace and in most every economy over the last 100 years there are examples of how passion beats price and profits go UP!

For the majority (pay attention to that word) of dealers or businesses today, beating price means shrinking profits, it’s called a reverse-auction or more commonly called “a SALE.” Even though the sales it leads to produce very little profits.

And if this continues over a long period of time it’s called a “GOING-OUT-OF-BUSINESS-Sale” because no business can survive for long without profits.

In declining (or times where everyone calls it DECLINING) markets, selling high-volume with low margins is a bit risky. Who are we kidding, being in business is risky, selling with low profits is dangerous.

In the words of that great American entrepreneur Mark Twain (amazing self-promoter),

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”                   

If you are like the MAJORITY of business owners or majority of dealers or MAJORITY of anything, you’re on the wrong side of RADICAL success. There’s an ancient script that says BE NOT CONFORMED!

Don’t be like everyone else, but be transformed by the renewing of your MIND.

Even though most everyone you ask would tell you that they want to be successful (you mean profitable?) the most successful individuals are certainly in the minority. And they are constant learners, always in search of new ideas.

What’s the last great idea you learned about?

In the past few weeks, I’ve seen PASSION beat price with a Crossfire convertible with all the “wish list” items my son wanted in his next car (p.s. we bought it ONLINE and flew 300 miles to pick it up). I’ve spoken at an exclusive cigar dinner with the parking lot so full there was no where to park (wonder if they know what the price of gas is now?) and they snapped up over 100 boxes of PREMIUM-PRICED (nope, no discounts) cigars, many of which were signed by the cigar-maker himself who attended the dinner as the special guest.

My daughter just drove 4 hours round-trip to attend a Broadway play with a friend and I just returned from six days at Pebble Beach where I played a course I’ve had on my goals list for almost 20 years.

Boo-Yah, I LOVE this country.

Every day, sun-shining, birds-singing, PROFIT going on!

None of these events were accomplished because of PRICE. Price was certainly part of the equation, but was trumped in a big way because of PASSION.

An overwhelming desire to buy, attend, purchase, status, positioning, travel, play, stay, you fill in the blank.

Maybe the best I’ve ever heard it described is by CEO Robert Tillman of Lowe’s.

He said “Michael, someone who is passionate about gardening will pay $1000 for a Japanese Maple Tree…but they still want the cheapest MULCH! Because no one is passionate about mulch.”

“Yeah, I’ll take 10 bags of your $1.99 mulch…and give me that thousand dollar Japanese maple tree over there.”

I can’t remember anyone standing in line at Starbucks EVER asking the price before they ordered their drink, even when they keep piling on the extras.

“Yes I’d like a venti-white-half-caff-skinny-whip-mocha-choka-latte-yah-yah…”


And then the person behind the counter says, “That’ll be seventeen dollars and twelve cents.”

Price takes a back-seat to THE EXPERIENCE or the desire or the passion.

Disney knows it.

Las Vegas knows it.

Harley Davidson knows it.

Ferrari knows it.

And as you’re reading this YOU KNOW IT TOO!

Because at some point in your life you’ve done it.

You have experienced the PASSION FORMULA at work.

All too often just lowering the price means lowering your standards or lowering the value you provide to the marketplace. And if there’s nothing very special about what you do or how you do it, in essence if people aren’t very passionate about it, then you’re just selling a commodity that they can get somewhere else.

If everyone else does what you do then why does this marketplace need YOU?

Tough question.

But asking the tough questions forces you and me to get better…or go home.

This is the most sophisticated marketplace the world has ever known and the economy is NOT the problem. Not adapting to economic conditions is a much greater problem. The lack of new ideas and can-do attitudes is a much greater problem. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy and get caught up in the list of excuses and who’s to blame for why we’re not doing better.

Don’t fall for that one.

Create PASSION in your prospective buyers.

Do something REMARKABLE in the way you show it, sell it, deliver it, service it, or attract people to it.

Commit to getting better and the marketplace will notice and write you bigger checks.

If you’d like my short list of other “price-beaters” that generate BIG PROFITS email me at leader@MichaelYork.com

To Your Uncommon Success,


p.s. If you’d like more profit-producing ideas you can join Michael for a FREE DEALER CALL coming soon. Get more information at www.FreeDealerCall.com

Editors Note: Michael York wrote the book on Becoming Uncommon.

He is a professional speaker and business consultant who speaks to over 50 audiences each year as well as leading the national Dealer MASTERMIND and monthly coaching for dealers through his WINNERS CIRCLE program. His columns appear regularly in national publications and online as well as in his monthly E news available at www.MichaelYork.com