Do you think you are losing customers to competitors? Are these customers you normally would have gotten months ago, a year ago or years ago? Your businesses offering hasn’t changed that much so why is this happening? Likely the competition is marketing and selling differently than you are. Here are some tactics that may be helping your competitors to win and here’s how to fight back:
Finding a Point of Differentiation
This determining or reinventing what unique thing your business can offer that your customers want in your market. Here’s the detail for this equation:
- “unique thing” – can be a product or service and should be fairly specific. Beware of things like “good quality”; in most markets good quality is already assumed. What could be unique to you? What do you believe in? What could your company deliver on? What is no one else doing? Look at the invisible box of what you do and figure out how to push those boundaries.
- “your customers” – it can’t just be everyone (i.e. all homeowners). Think about defining your niche market. You can define by demographics – long-haul independent truckers. You can define by customer need – long-haul independent truckers who are getting ready to retire. And you can define by interests, preferences and behaviors – long-haul independent truckers who love 80’s pop music but, don’t want their kids to know.
- “your market” – typically geographic – Lehigh Valley, PA or tri-state area.
Telling Your Why
There’s been a lot of talk about this lately. Companies usually advertise their what. A what is something like “we sell native plants for home landscaping”. A why is more of a story about the reason why you’ve poured blood, sweat and tears into this business. People are more likely to buy your why not your what. Here’s a lot more detail about developing your “why”.
If you’re waiting for the phone to ring there’s no time like now to get out there and make meaningful connections. A successful entrepreneur recently told me that she spends an hour every day making caring connections. She helps others. She cheers for others. And she’s built quite a following. The same works for businesses. Make connections with old, recent and current customers. Make connections with vendors and folks aspiring to get into your business. Make connections with others who are doing it well in other markets. Find ways to meet others face to face or online. Find meetings or presentations to attend, support or speak at. Be natural, be conversational and be you.
Even if your business was once successful and now you are losing customers to competitors, it may be time to pick a totally new path.