One of my favorite things about my job is getting to listen to business owners talk about their businesses.
No, I’m not being cheesy.
When I sit and listen to business owners talk about the thing that they have made a successful living out of, I hear their passion for helping people. I see their faces light up. I feel their conviction that they are really doing something good in the world by providing this product or service to those who need it, and their determination to be the best at solving the problems of the people they help.
Usually, I am not brought in until it’s time to start planning the project and figuring out the strategy. During that initial meeting, I am there to learn about the business—what they do, how it all works, etc. Most clients have tons to say about their business, and I’m always happy to listen.
Once they get done with their initial spiel, it’s time for me to start filling in gaps.
The first—and my favorite—question I ask most clients when I sit down to parse out their business strategy is, “Why should I choose you?”
I can find out a lot of information from the responses I get to this question, but what I’m really asking you to do is to sell me on your company. Convince me that you are the right choice for me. How you do this helps me determine how I’m going to sell you online.
Let’s say I’m in your target market, and I’m in the position to be super choosy as to my vendor. What makes you the most awesome at what you do? Is it
If you don’t have that information front and center, you’re not getting my attention. If you’re in a competitive industry where you’re fighting over the market, you cannot afford to not have my attention.
The answers you give here are your differentiators: what sets you apart from your competitors. You cannot come in with “me too” marketing and think you’re going to win a piece of the pie. What do I mean by “me too” marketing?
It’s great to talk to me about features and benefits. I need to know that information so I know what your content needs to be about. Here’s the thing though:
That’s not what I’m going to put on your home page.
This surprises a lot of people. Traditional sales training has taught us that features and benefits are where it’s at. I mean, these things are the core of what you do, right?
Right. And they are also the core of what your competitors do, too.
We’ve talked extensively about how the way people make buying decisions has changed over the last 10 years. I talk elsewhere about how your strategy for reaching these buyers needs to change with it, but by necessity, your marketing messaging also needs to change.
People buy the product or service that solves their pain.
I’ve used the hiking boot analogy before, so I’ll go back to it. People don’t buy your hiking boots because yours are waterproof. They buy your waterproof hiking boots because they don’t want to hike with wet feet if they have to cross a creek.
This is an important distinction.
If I am hiking through a desert area, I might find it highly unlikely that I will have a wet-feet situation, so the waterproofing of your boots is not going to be a selling point for me. If I’m hiking in a rainforest, then your waterproof boots solve a pain point for me.
People don’t buy features and benefits. They buy to stop pain. Your messaging must reflect the pain you solve.
Let’s change our analogy a bit to discuss how to combine these two very important elements. Let’s say that you are a plumbing company. Obviously, your average plumber can stop the pain of a burst pipe. Many of them will stop the pain of a burst pipe at 3am.
What makes you different? You’re the plumber who will stop the pain of a burst pipe at 3am without charging an exorbitant after-hours fee. All of your competitors charge an extra $300 to come out in the middle of the night, but you don’t. That extra $300 is a pain that only you solve. This is what makes me choose you.
Whether you need help identifying all of your differentiators, or you’re having a hard time figuring out how to leverage that message so that your phone starts ringing, Waypost can work with you to put together a comprehensive strategy that meets your business goals. Give us a call or contact us online for your free consultation.