If you’re in small business, do you ever ask yourself why customers should choose you? Because if you aren’t asking yourself this question, you can bet that customers – either consciously or unconsciously – are.
Defining why customers should choose your small business is vital for a number reasons and one of the most important – particularly in today’s digital age – is to help customers make a choice. A customer in 2012 has the ability to quickly search for the products and services they wish to purchase and if you don’t tell customers why they should choose you, they’ll most likely move on to the next option.
The result is that you’ll lose sales.
So how do you go about defining what makes your business different to the competitor’s business down the street or in the next suburb (or next in the Google rankings)? While it might seem easy, in practice it can be quite difficult.
For starters, list some of the obvious differences. For example:
- Are your services and/or products cheap, middle of the road or high-end?
- Are your service levels premium or personal? Do you go beyond normal expectations when it comes to customer service?
- Do you specialise in a particular aspect of your field? For example, if you’re a lawyer you may specialise in family law or corporate law.
- Do you offer no-obligation meetings and/or quotes?
- Do you service a particular area or region?
- Do you have loyalty programs or other customer benefits?
As you’re writing down some of these key differences, remember this isn’t the time for spin or dishonesty. Today’s customer is savvy, knowledgeable and may well be starting from a low trust point. It’s your job to portray an accurate business image that will not only attract customers but also gain their trust and keep customers coming back.
So now that you’ve started your list, it’s time to dig deeper. This is a good time to ask other people who you trust. Ask employees in the business, ask an existing customer what attracted them to you in the first place and why they keep coming back, and ask friends and family. You may get some unexpected answers but take them all on board for closer examination.
After you have your list, remember it’s useless if you don’t use it. Tell customers why they should choose you in your online and off-line marketing materials, on your signage, in advertising, at networking events and in person.
Most customers are looking for something to stand out and help them make a decision. Help them do this and you’ll be well on the way to business success.