How hard can it be to compare your product or service to the competition, list the attributes of importance, indicating how each builds an emotional relationship with the customer? It seems easy at first but small business owners simply say “We give better service… bla bla bla” without any specificity or without defining what that means to the customer or how it might be tied to an emotional component in the customer’s buying process.
Everyone in sales knows that decisions (regardless of how logically based) are based upon emotional elements to a large degree. The question, “Why should I buy from you?” must be satisfied for a customer to choose your company. Some call this the USP – Unique Selling Proposition. Others call it the differentiators. Our goal is to have the customer logically and emotionally tell themselves, “I’d be a fool to buy from anyone but you!” To make this happen, we must position ourselves so they can form that frame of mind about our company. Rather than relying upon each prospect to identify these differentiators, we need to lay them out in our marketing materials and communication processes so they are obvious as well as subtle at the same time. Think about what matters to your customers, define how what you offer satisfies (or exceeds the expectations of the customer) in visible terms, describe what their value is to the customer and demonstrate why they are superior to the competition. However, take it past a feature-benefit pitch.
For example, the competition may make a product that looks like what you offer, but at a lower price. Yet, you are the clear market leader with a proven record of on-time service, lower maintenance cost and down time, superior quality and product life-cycle. Making that ‘position’ clear so that your sales staff can take advantage of the fact that the competition’s main product line isn’t in what you are offering (i.e. it’s a sideline item) and that they have just entered your market and written reviews about their product are not flattering… including high maintenance costs and down time. This is not to be confused with competition bashing— not what is being advocated. Instead, playing on your strengths.
So, what would you be saying if I met you in an elevator and asked why I should buy from you instead of your competition? Okay, I’ll give you more than 30 seconds before we reach the 30th floor!
See you next week as we head toward the home stretch in this series on Marketing. As always, I welcome your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to look for our new book, Set Yourself Free… How to Have a Thriving Small Business – And enjoy it.