We all know we need our business to be different, to stand out from our competitors. After all, if a business chooses to be no different from competitors, it is nothing but a match in a matchbox.
As well-known marketer John Dwyer said when I interviewed him last year (How to attract customers to your business), “in a sea of sameness in your industry, you need to stand out like a beacon”.
But let’s think this through a bit further. Is being different enough, or should you be more specific about this. What makes you stand out like a beacon? Let me ask, “different from whom” and “a why should your prospect care”?
Have you noticed how many businesses claim to be unique, or having a unique offering. If they are or do, then they will certainly stand out like a beacon. But such claims usually only exist in the mind of the owner, and rarely in mind of the prospect.
There’s only one reason why a prospect should care if you are different, and that is if you solve their problem, whatever it is; whether you can take them from being discontented about something to a different state where their condition/situation has actually improved. That is what they are buying, change, and where the value for them comes from.
When it comes to a sales message or copy, most businesses talk about themselves and the business. This is a fatal mistake. They should be focusing on the transformation, the change that will occur when the prospect purchases your product or service.
It’s not earth shattering, but it is easy to forget. We get so wrapped up in the wonderful products or services we have to offer, we forget it’s really all about the prospect and what they want. Uniqueness, if it exists, must be in their minds, not yours. Don't try to SELL them; instead, describe a picture of a better world … or way of doing things … or thinking, that is so compelling, it draws them in. If you are good, the prospect is more than sold; they're in … all the way in. And they’ll buy.
So be very clear about the outcome you’re trying to create for your prospect. Try rewording your offering in outcome terms, not product or service terms.
Here are some examples:
You need to get inside the mind of your prospect, and understand their discontent, and to be able to show you understand it.
Now obviously, you can’t do this for each individual out there. That is why market segments are important; niches with similar problems and desires to change. And the niche has to be big enough for you to prosper – see my recent blog “Does your marketing tail stretch to the sea?”
The other point worth making is that beacon-like point of difference needs to be something that is not easily copied by your competitors. If it were, you would become a match in a matchbox again.
What you do is important, but how you do it is even more important. The things that make you stand out like a beacon will come from inside your business, such as speed of service, customer relationships, accessibility. Don’t focus on the difference from your competitors, let your competitors talk about themselves. Focus on the transformation you can do for your customers, the change that will occur when the prospect purchases your product or service.
Then your prospect will care.
When clients approach me for coaching, so often, they are not getting the clients they need, the right clients. Eight times out of ten this comes down to not knowing what is working, and what is not working, and how to develop that WOW transformational factor that makes them different.
For more than 28 years I’ve been helping small business owners plug the profit leaks in their business and restoring their cash flows by assisting them understand how to use the 80-20 rule to determine their most profitable customers, and to determine the message to bring them on board.
If you would like to discuss with me how you might do that, book a Strategy Consult here.
© Copyright 2017 Adam Gordon, The Profits Leak Detective
Some profit losses are pretty obvious - so you fix them.
BUT, what if you don't know profits are leaking, cash out the door?
Possible leaks could be anywhere.
Are there some clues or symptoms that are tell-tales?