Last Updated on January 25, 2017 by Dave Schoenbeck
Coach Dave’s Tips for Differentiating Your Business
- Investigate Who Your Core Customer Really Is
It is really easy to make assumptions about who our customer is. Over time, we generalize in our effort to serve everyone that is interested in us. We become paralyzed by the thought of a business slump by being more selective. I highly advocate spending time to find out who your best customers are. The ones that are loyal, that pay you on time, that value a relationship vs. a price transaction, and the ones that you really like to serve. These folks are your core. Ask them lots of questions to find out why they love you. We just need more of them, right? Study their demographics, their motivations, and why they value your business. De-emphasize the customers that don’t fit your model. They aren’t who you should spend your time and effort on.
- Write Out Your Client’s Fears & Frustrations
This is a hard one for all of us, but so important. Put yourself in their shoes. What are they afraid of when they think about hiring you or doing business with you? What’s in their thought-bubbles? What are they frustrated by businesses in your industry? Write it all down and ponder how well you perform against their real fears.
- Honestly Assess Your Competition
Pick the top three of your competitors and write out their strengths and weaknesses. Then find the one or two competitors that are in your space that are doing business differently than the rest. They tend to be newer businesses and are exploiting a piece of the market that you should respect.
- Painstakingly Decide What You Do Well, or Should
Write out the list of what you do really well for your best customers. Here’s a short list to help you think:
- Highest quality product
- Best assortment of products
- Most durable products
- Extreme reliability
- Easiest convenience
- Highest value for the money spent
- Best technology
- Most trusted
- Most scarce
- Best reputation
- Leader in solving problems
- Fastest delivery
- Exceptional honesty/values
- Quickest response
- Most experience in the industry or area
- Best transaction experience
- Highest performing
- Most exclusive
- Most dominant brand in the marketplace
- Lowest price – (I don’t advise this one, it could put you out of business)
- Best service (Be careful, we all believe we own this one)
- Find the Hole in the Market that Will Help in Differentiating Your Business
Go back to the fears & frustrations section above and figure out what they aren’t finding, and what they fear. Compare that to what you and your competitors are doing well and poorly. The gap is right in front of you. If you can’t find a niche that you can dominate, call your favorite Business Coach to help you figure it out your where you can dominate. We might even need to invent a niche.
- Craft Your Unique Specialist Proposition
You won’t have a USP until you write it out and wordsmith into a short, powerful, statement that anyone can understand. It’s a fact that your customers can describe who your are in no more than three words. They will continue to compartmentalize their view of you until you re-shape it for them. You probably won’t succeed at that until you write it out. Just like Nike says – just do it!
- Create and Promote a Guarantee
This sounds reckless and dangerous to most business owners but the truly unique figure out a daring guarantee that steals-the-deal from those pretenders that you call your competitors.
- Aggressively Fill the Void
The action part in differentiating your business is to build the marketing & advertising communication that positions your business differently. If your aren’t skilled at this, get a professional agency or hire an experienced marketer to ensure that you align your persuasive message with the client. Please consider that communication is the response that you get, not just what you say, it’s always about their response.
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