Look at your current company brochure, your latest ad or the most recent sales letter you’ve sent out. Is it immediately obvious what makes you better? Would a prospect clearly see why they should choose to do business with your organization over your competitors?
If I had to draw any conclusions as to why so many businesses seem to languish without achieving real and sustained success, I’d attribute it to the following two fundamental flaws:
- Far too many businesses don’t have a meaningful and compelling value proposition differentiating them from their competitors.
- Even when they do, they don’t know how to effectively communicate what it is.
Define what makes you special
If you don’t have a real, quantifiable and exciting reason why prospects should buy from you, your business will be dependent on value propositions outside your control. Chances are excellent you will probably find yourself competing a lot on price.
The only way to get out of this predicament and ensure long-term success is to learn how to provide people with a real reason to buy from you. You’ve got to distinguish yourself from your competitors.
Learn how to say it effectively
You’ve got to be able to articulate what your value proposition is. Even when a business owner has a unique selling proposition, they frequently don’t know how to effectively communicate that value to a potential client. When prospects for your business can’t distinguish your business from your competitors because of your inability to state what makes you better in a compelling and embraceable way, your marketing will have trouble driving leads to your business.
Just talking about how long you’ve been in business and the quality of your service and your products won’t drive business anymore. Most often, prospects simply dismiss these pronouncements as platitudes and hype.
Market using a systematized approach
When you have something to say, and you decide to make the commitment to “tell your story,” you’ve got to do it the right way. Cramming everything you want your prospects to know about your organization into one all-encompassing advertisement or marketing piece and sending it out all at once doesn’t work.
Instead, you’ve got to create a systematized series of well-articulated marketing messages that will generate interest with your top prospects, address their areas of concern, build trust with them and position your products and services as the obvious best choice.“Why is all of this necessary?” you ask. Well, there are two very good reasons.
Understand the buying process
First, you must realize that there are many different stages of “the buying process”, and there is a whole procedure people go through when they start thinking of buying your product or service to the time they actually do. Prospects begin by realizing they may have an interest in the solution your product provides. They start gathering information. Then, they begin asking for recommendations from friends and peers. Next, they begin to narrow their choices…and so it goes.
Second, consumers and business owners alike are now bombarded with hundreds of different advertising messages a day. Of those, they probably take note of just a small handful, and choose to act on fewer still. One reason for this is that people don’t really notice most ads on a conscious level.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine what stage of the process your prospects are in. Consequently, you must market to them with frequency and consistency, so that whenever they are ready to actually buy, your company is the one they consider.
This is the first post in “Getting Back to Basics”, a series by guest blogger Bob Stalbaum. The second post, “Getting Back to Basics: “Hot Buttons” and Consistency”, can be found here.