Gaining competitive differentiation isn't easy. You and your competition hit prospective customers repeatedly in blogs, ads, brochures, sales pitches, and in social media. More features. Superior service. Experienced founders. Photo of an office building that could be anywhere!
All this does is confirm the perception that you’re all the same. As a result, customers lump you in with competitors, and purchase from the lowest cost vendor.
Most companies believe that their target market just needs to be told why they're better. You must do much better that that.
It's time to shift the conversation you're having with your market. Do this and you'll immediately stand apart from your competition. You'll find that your prospects will actually appreciate it. And you'll sell more products and services without any extra effort.
Your ideal prospect is open to hearing why your business truly gives them more value -- in a way that only you can uniquely provide. But only if it’s based on the problems they have. Touting a neat feature that is useless to them will cause potential customers to turn off fast.
Trying to stand out from other companies and making competitive differentiation a reality can be frustrating. Yet, even with time constraints, tight budgets, and limited resources there are several things you can do to reposition your message and shift the conversation in your favor.
Define the key objectives of your audience. Dig deep and be very specific. Discover what's truly important to them. Next, find what keeps them from reaching their goals and what keeps them up at night worrying. Align your competitive strengths to these, but only the pieces that are unique to you.
Construct a thought-provoking message. Your message must communicate, "This what you'll be able to do differently with our solution that no one else can give you." Make it clear that it's for your intended target -- a certain type of user, industry, or situation. Make sure that the result is obvious. Come right out say what it means to them. This is your company's value proposition all wrapped up in a simple statement. Make it short.
This is the sandbox you play in and own. You've got to get prospects to listen by grabbing their attention with some 'wow'. Help them out. One way to do this is to challenge your prospect's status quo. Tell them something about a problem they don't know they have or will have. It will catch their attention and get them to care about your message.
This is how you'll sell more products and services.
When your message and conversations clearly communicate value, it’ll be like a giant neon billboard immediately lighting up. It says to the prospect, "I have a fresh insight into how you can do things better and make the pain go away like no other company can."
Ah, the sweet success of competitive differentiation!