How do you differentiate your business?
There is no denying that there exists a plethora of businesses that all offer the same services or products as yours. So how do you attract clients to your business instead of having them choose your competitor?
If you are a small business owner, it is imperative that you find or create a strategy that differentiates your services from all those other businesses claiming to do the same thing.
Although this isn’t a new concept, it is often one of the most difficult things to get a small business owner to do. After all, we all like to think that what we offer is special and unique. But, unfortunately, this is seldom the case and, in most instances, is something that many others can and do offer as well.
An interesting way to demonstrate this is to take the first paragraph of five of your competitor’s websites and black out any references to names. Chances are, the descriptions for each of these companies will be nearly impossible to tell apart.
So what can you do to differentiate yourself?
One of the best strategies is also one of the most obvious strategies – ask your customers!
Get a group of your best clients together and ask them key questions, including:
• What made you hire us?
• What is the one thing that you believe we do better than other businesses like ours?
• What can we do better?
• Would you refer us to others, or do you refer us to others?
• If you would refer us, what would you say about us?
Sometimes people are hesitant to provide too much detail. If your client tries to get away with simply telling you that you give great service, try to push them for a bit more detail. Ask them what good service looks like to them. Also, ask them if they can give an example of when your business provided them with good service and what that entailed.
Coming from a satisfied customer, you might be surprised just how quickly the differences between you and your competitors will become apparent.
Look for commonalities in conversations and develop and build on a core message to support those themes. And if these themes are different than your competitors, well, that’s even better!
Most of us don’t like to stand out. We are more comfortable “fitting in”. But if you are talking about your products and services in the same way as everyone else, what makes you different? Why should someone choose you over one of your competitors?
Differentiating yourself from everyone else by stepping outside the box may be one of the hardest things you will do. But it is also one of the ways that businesses are able to charge a premium for their products and services.
If one of the first questions a prospect asks you is “how much”, then chances are, you are not doing a very good job differentiating your business. After all, if a prospect can’t tell what makes you different, they are going to fall back on the one measurement that makes sense to them: price.
And, let’s face it. Competing on price is never fun. There is always someone who will be willing to cut their prices to get the business.
But what people really like about a business is their experience. It’s the people, the brand, the special touches, and how a company resolves problems. That is what gets and keeps loyal customers.
So what are your clients saying about you? Are you giving them the unique, personal experience that makes you stand ahead of your competition?
Until next time…
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