One of the most common errors small businesses make is that they don’t differentiate their company from competition. Most people when asked what makes their company better than the competition respond with a generic we offer better quality and service. If that is how you answer this question, you are not getting nearly as many sales as you would if you had a more thought out answer to the question of what makes your company different.
For those of you who answer that question with we offer better quality and service, ask yourself this one question. Do you think your competition tells prospects that they offer better quality and service? Most companies are going to say they have good quality and offer good service.
To help your sales force sell more products, you need to identify what your competitive advantages are. When your organization has a clear understanding and develops a marketing message that clearly shows the advantages to prospects, you will start to see a dramatic increase in sales.
When developing your message, you need to think through everything that your company does differently or better than each of your primary competitors. When you develop this message, you are developing what is known as your USP or unique selling proposition. To paint a clear picture of a USP, here is how the American Marketing Association defines a Unique Selling Proposition. “An approach to developing the advertising message that concentrates on the uniquely differentiating characteristic of the product that is both important to the customer and a unique strength of the advertised products when compared to competing products.”
So let’s take a closer look at the two items they say must be present in a unique selling proposition.
The first thing your message must be is important to your prospective customers. Think about it, even if it’s unique but the customers don’t care about its uniqueness, it should not be part of your unique selling proposition. A little tip is you can focus on unique product, product features or services that answer common industry objections or needs. If you have products or services that answer these questions you are on the right track.
The second thing it must do is be unique compared to a competing product or service. You need to be able to answer what makes your product or service a better fit for prospective customer’s needs. One of the worst things your sales force can do is to only present features and benefits that all their competitors have as well. When that is the case the company with the best price usually wins. The management of companies needs to get involved to make sure they identify what they want their sales force to use as their USP.
If you still struggle with identifying what makes you unique or different, you can ask some of your best current customers what they feel you do better or different than your competition. Ask, what was the number one reason you selected us or our product?
Your company’s sales success rate will improve if you get your entire team speaking the same language and sharing what makes you different and better than the competition.
If your company has not yet defined your unique selling proposition, I recommend you start on the process today. Even if time is in short supply, I would recommend you set aside 15 minutes each day to work on it until you have it complete. You will see a dramatic impact to your business once you have identified your unique selling proposition and you can clearly deliver the message in a way that the customer understands why your USP will improve their life or business more than the competition.
I would love to hear what you do to differentiate your company. I am always looking for ideas that work in the real world.
David Domos developed WhyBuyFromYou.com to provide content to help small businesses develop their branding, marketing and sales systems. In the past he held key leadership positions for a fortune 500 company. That company led the market in both sales and brand awareness and David was a significant contributor to its growth. David has been on the Amazon.com best seller list in their Direct Marketing, Communications and Entrepreneurship categories. He is a student of sales, marketing, branding & small business growth, continually focusing on the reasons people buy. Follow him on Twitter @WhyBuyFromYou or visit www.whybuyfromyou.com.