Most prospects think that one business is essentially just like the next. Most prospects won’t be able to tell the difference. If they can’t tell the difference, they simply ask ‘how much’ and that’s how they filter through the competitors. Bottom line is you don’t want to compete on price—remember there’s always somebody else that’s willing to go out of business faster than you.
As a business owner, it’s your job to identify and communicate how you set yourself apart from the competition. And very often I’m asked ‘but how can I differentiate myself?’. Here are several ideas to help you discover something that allows you to differentiate your business in the minds of your prospects to create a unique selling opportunity.
1. Who you serve. You can differentiate yourself by focusing on a very specific segment of the market. For example, a realtor may specialize in representing sellers currently facing divorce or separation. The opportunity here is to demonstrate how you understand the needs of a specific segment of the market. A business consultant might cater to the home office market.
2. Your reputation for a special process. Having a very detailed process or formula for your business is a great way to differentiate yourself. A cleaning service might focus on communicating its key to cleaning is good old-fashioned elbow grease and natural cleaning products rather than harsh, smelly chemicals.
3. Packaging. You can differentiate yourself from the competition based on the way your package your product or services. If you sell retail party supplies, maybe you create a whole package for milestone birthdays or baby showers, etc., put it all in one box and sell it altogether. If you are a consultant, you can set yourself apart from the competition by providing fixed package pricing as opposed to hourly fees. Some clients will appreciate knowing that there’s a cap and will feel more comfortable going through the process when they feel they aren’t being charged for every minute.
4. A Shocking Guarantee. What’s a Shocking Guarantee? It’s one that makes you a little anxious—which is precisely the point. What could you promise that no one else would? You could provide a specific guarantee to help prospects develop trust and take the risk out of working with you. It could be a money back guarantee.
Can you think of some other ways you can create a unique difference?
Spend some time thinking about what makes your business unique from your competition and be sure to communicate it. If you don’t tell your prospects, they’ll measure you up on price.