There are no new ideas under the sun, really? So what can you do to help your small business stand out in the marketplace? I have often said that it is a losing proposition for small businesses to compete on price, since large competitors with higher volume can always undercut you. So if there are plenty of other businesses that offer what you sell, how can you compete effectively? How are you different? What makes your customers choose you? So you have a secret sauce or specialized system for doing business? This is what’s called your value proposition.
If you don’t have a specific value proposition, it will be extremely hard to get or keep customers. Every business offers slightly different value over the others. Here are seven ways to increase yours:
No one wants to hire a “me too” business. You must be known for something that you specialize in. If everyone can use your product or service chances are no one will. Trying to be all things to all people never works. How can you keep your customers coming back? Let’s say you own a spa. You may think customers come there every two weeks for your service technicians, when in reality they come for price, 50 minutes for $50. In this highly stressed out world, an affordable massage is a real treat for a busy working mom. It’s all about understanding the value you offer customers, and then owning it. You should highlight this in your marketing materials.
Talk to Your Customers
Don’t even assume you know what your customer is thinking, you need to ask people why they buy from you. It is easiest to get customers to give feedback if you offer them something in exchange like a discount, or buy one get one offer. You could gain valuable insight that may change your business focus or delivery of your service.
Leverage Your Experience
If you’ve helped 318,356 entrepreneurs start a business, say so. It sounds better than “we’ve helped lots of people start a business.” Think about how impressive it is to say, ”We’ve helped over 300,000 businesses get started.” As best you can, quantify your value proposition. If you can fix a customer’s hair with a cut and curl in 60 minutes, during her lunch hour, use your speediness in your marketing material.
Strong Sales Copy
Your sales copy needs to speak to a specific expertise and target customer. Anyone who visits your website, landing pages or social media profiles should be able to quickly understand how you can serve them and who is your target customer. If you are a spa owner targeting those tired working moms, they should know you are talking to them with your sales copy on the home page of your website. Your value proposition should come across clearly in all your messaging so that customers know what to expect from your brand.
Highlight Your Benefits
Outline the benefits of your product or services to potential customers. There is a big difference between benefits and features. Focus on one of these three things: Better, Cheaper or Faster? Remember it’s all about solving your customer’s pain. These are all triggers that cause people to buy, so use them.
Your unique value proposition is ultimately what you are selling. It is what drives traffic to your website and to your retail store. Be clear about the benefits you provide over the competition, and keep it consistent across all your marketing.
Republished by permission. Original here.
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