Why Should Your Customers Or Prospects Do Business With You, Rather Than Any Other Options They Have?
Every time someone is in the process of making a decision to purchase something there are about thirteen questions that run through their mind, either consciously, or subconsciously.
First, “Do I want the benefits of this product or service?”
Second, “Is this the right product or service to solve my needs or problems?”
Third, “Is this the right company, producer or manufacturer to purchase this product or service from?”
Number four, “Specifically, is this the right place of business to buy from?”
Number five, “Are you the right person to buy it from?”
And six, “Is this the right price to pay for this product or service?”
Number seven, “Is this the right time to buy or invest in this product?”
Eight, “What are my options to pay for it?”
Number nine, “What if this product or service is not right for me? What if I don’t like it, or I don’t want it? What if I change my mind?”
Number ten, “How can I be assured that I’m getting the absolute best value for the money I’m about to spend?”
Number eleven… “Why should I do business with you, instead of any and all other options I have… including doing nothing at all?”
Number twelve… “What are the most common mistakes other people make when buying this type of product or service?”
Number thirteen… “How can I avoid making those same mistakes?”
Let’s go back an revisit point number eleven for a minute. What makes you so special? What makes you different? What makes you unique? Why should I spend my money with you rather that all the other choices I have? What can I get from you that I can’t get from anyone else who sells the same product or service… or at least a reasonable substitute?
This may or may not have anything to do with something that is “tangible.” Nevertheless, it’s still a question that needs to be answered in the mind of the potential buyer.
Here’s a simple test you can perform: Ask any business owner, any manager, any entrepreneur or any professional why you should do business with them and you’ll most likely get an answer somewhere along the lines of, “Because we offer the highest quality products, the best service, the fastest delivery and the lowest prices around.”
Now, really, what do you learn from that kind of statement? Does an answer like that compel you want to know more? To nearly force you to get out of your chair, pick up the phone and call? To get in your car and drive to the place of business? To fill out and mail the response card? Or, is it just another “ho-hum” statement that you’ve heard so many times before by countless other businesses?
You see, if you’re in business and are in any way responsible for attracting new customers to your place of business and you don’t have a ready, a clear, and a compelling answer as to why someone should do business with you and not your competitors, then your business is in big trouble.
Competition in business today is so keen, products and services are so similar, and prices are so cutthroat, that it’s difficult, in fact, nearly impossible in almost any industry… in nearly any business or profession to maintain, for any predictable length of time, a competitive advantage because of the products or services you offer, or the prices you charge.
If You Keep On Doing What You’ve Always Done, You’ll Keep On Getting What You’ve Always Got
The simple truth is, that if you can’t give your prospects and customers clear and compelling reasons to do business with you, then you can never expect for your business to be any better than any of your competition.
And you’ll be just another “me-too” business… at least in the eyes of your customers. And since they’re the ones with the money, isn’t that the only place it matters?
You see, if you expect people to do business with you rather than your competition it’s imperative that you have something to offer your customers and prospects that your competition doesn’t have. Preferably something your competition can’t offer.
Something that sets you or your business apart from everyone else in your industry or profession.
And whatever that “something” is you need to identify it, to quantify it, and then to articulate it.
That “something” I’m talking about is what’s known as your Unique Comparative Advantage, or your UCA.
It’s your defined statement of what makes your business stand out and makes you unique, compared to all the other competition in your industry or profession, and it’s what gives you your advantage.
Now, do you want to hear something exciting? Most of your competition doesn’t have a clue how to do this. In fact, very few of them have even heard of this concept.
That little test I mentioned a minute ago will prove that. Yet, it’s paraded before them several times a day by any number of different companies.
You’ve no-doubt heard the Unique Comparative Advantage that Domino’s Pizza used when they were building their multi-billion dollar company… “Fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less… guaranteed.”
Or Federal Express when they say, “When it absolutely, positively has to get there overnight.”
How about M&M’s, “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”
Those UCA’s, clearly position those businesses as being different from their competition. And if you want the benefits they promise, there’s only one company that can provide them.
That’s a strategy you need to incorporate in your business. Lead your customers and prospects to the inescapable and undeniable conclusion that your business is not only the logical consideration, but the only consideration for them.
In essence, what you want them to say is, “I would have to be an absolute fool to even consider doing business with anyone else but you, regardless of the prices you charge, regardless of your location, or the relationship I have with my current supplier or vendor.”
Coming up with your own Unique Comparative Advantage doesn’t have to be difficult. But whatever you choose to use, remember, it’s got to be perceived as desirable to your marketplace.
In other words, your prospects and customers have to consider it to be of value to them.
The Differentiating Factor Between Your Business And Your Competitors Is What Attracts Prospects To You, And What Converts Prospects Into Clients
Because this area of positioning is such a critical part of an effective marketing program, you should learn as much about it as you can, and do whatever it takes to properly position yourself in the minds of your customers.
There are at least four things that will help you develop a well thought-out and clearly defined statement of benefit that sets you apart from any and all competition you may have.
Here are a couple of things you can do immediately to get you started:
First, look around and find a need, a want, or a void or a problem somewhere in your industry or profession, and then figure out how to fill it or solve it.
Before Domino’s came on the scene you either had to go out and pick up your own pizza, or if you did have it delivered it was cold when you got it. Domino’s solved the problem by delivering your pizza while it was hot and fresh… and you got it in 30 minutes or it was free.
Why, you couldn’t even get the kids ready, in the car, drive down to the pizza place, get seated and get your pizza ordered in 30 minutes. And while you were gone you even might miss the game.
Now the second thing you can do is ask your customers directly, why they do business with you. It may be that you’re already providing something that no one else is and you’re not getting credit for it. And by uncovering their reasons, you can now define them and begin advertising and promoting them as benefits to others.
Another thought is that you might find a feature or a benefit that all businesses in your industry or profession provides, but because everyone else provides it, no one else promotes it.
Well, if you jump on that and begin promoting it as if you’re the only one who does this… even though everyone else can or does… you’ll have the upper hand.
This is called “preemptive marketing.” It’s being the first one to promote, or to tell your customers and prospects about a particular benefit.
The third thing you might do is consider asking your customers what your competitors do that turns them off. This might provide an additional opening that you can jump on and begin to use to your advantage.
Fourth, talk with your employees. Find out from them what’s good about your company. And find out what some of the downsides are. They might even be able to shed some insight on the positives and negatives of your competition.
There are many more ideas that we could discuss in even greater detail, but that we don’t have room or time to discuss here. But at least these ideas can get you started.
Once you have clearly defined your Unique Comparative Advantage… why your prospects and customers should only consider your company and not anyone else… use this statement in everything you do… in all your marketing efforts, in all your promotions, in all your communications, in every contact you have with your marketplace.
This one concept… and I can’t stress this enough… is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have. It’s so critical and so important to get it right, because this one statement sums up what your whole business is about.
Whatever you do take the time… make the time… and put together a clear, concise and effective Unique Comparative Advantage.