When I ask this question in a workshop or seminar I often hear something like ‘great customer service’, ‘quality products’ or something else that’s fairly generic. It’s quite likely the same answer that a competitor of that business would give. But, more than that, most customers would feel that good service and quality products should be more of a given than a differentiator.
Often it’s those businesses with poor or generic differentiators that face lots of price competition. Ultimately, if the customer doesn’t know why you are better than someone else they will always differentiate on the only thing they do know….the price. If you would like to get away from the ‘difference by discount’ strategy, you need to understand what value looks like to your prospect.
Your customers make purchasing decisions based on value. Their perception of value will be shaped by their goals, fears, desires and frustrations. Your challenge is to find out what these four areas look like for your customers and to use this valuable information in all of your marketing material and throughout your sales process. Resist the temptation to try and figure this out internally. Your customers have the answers; you just need to find the best way of asking them.
Defining what makes you different does take time and may result in a few internal changes, but if you want to grow your business and maintain or improve margins it’s an essential task that will yield massive results.