One of our keys jobs in marketing is to give our potential customers good reasons to choose our business to spend money with instead of our competitors.
So it's helpful to show potential customers why our business is special and unique and the right choice to spend money with.
Start by answering four questions about your business.
1. What things do you do in your business that your clients really love?
2. What do you do in your business that most other businesses don't do?
3. How is your business positively different from other businesses like yours?
4. What extra things do you offer in your business that your clients love?
As part of my research for this column I interviewed three different business owners and asked them these four questions.
Here's what I discovered when I did this.
1: The fast acting, forward thinking accounting firm
Jamie Tulloch is the owner of E3 Business Accountants and is one of the smartest business people I know.
When I asked Jamie these four questions he explained that their clients love the fact that they offer a fixed price quote on all accounting work - before they start the work.
Plus they lock in an agreed delivery date. (Their clients love the security and peace of mind this fixed price and guaranteed delivery date gives them.)
He told me that where they are different from other accountants is simple.
Jamie and his team see business as being like a full contact sport.
This means that business owners will get knocked around.
At some stage they will get beaten by their competitors.
Their bank will jump on them.
Their personal assets and the family home will be on the line.
And so on.
At E3 Business Accountants they understand these things and have developed strategies to help ambitious business owners get ahead despite these common challenges.
A big part of what E3 Business Accountants does is help business owners to work out their 'end game' in business. (Jamie has found that businesses that don't have a clear focus on this will often lose their way and get overtaken by ambitious competitors.)
E3 Business Accountants are also partners with The Icehouse.
So they can offer great one on one business coaching and provide access to proven programmes to help businesses grow their businesses.
2: The caring responsive real estate professional
Shelley Grieve has worked with Bayleys Real Estate for two years and was recently acknowledged as the top residential agent in South Auckland.
I asked Shelley why her clients loved her real estate services and how she was positively different from other real estate people.
Shelley explained that she has been a nurse for most of her life before starting in real estate.
Because of her nursing background Shelley was very comfortable dealing with all types of people and she is also very used to caring for all types of people.
Shelley has also had a lot of experience working long hours as a nurse and getting a lot of things done every work day.
So what Shelley did in her real estate business was use the same skills and things that she used as a nurse.
So she is very good at interacting with all types of people. She also genuinely cares about everyone and her clients pick this up.
Shelley also responds very fast to anything that needs doing and gets a huge amount of work accomplished every day.
Her clients love her responsive and caring nature plus her hard work on their behalf. And as a result Shelley has done very well in the real estate field in a relatively short period of time.
Shelley told me she has also spent a lot of time learning how to get great results from online and digital marketing. This allows her to give her clients good advice on how to get the best results from any money they invest in marketing their property. Her clients value this helpful advice.
3: The neuroscience based leadership consultant to larger organisations
Graham Hart is one of the directors of Mantle one of New Zealand's leading leadership consultancies.
Graham explained that one area where their business is different is that their leadership work is based on neuroscience. (In other words it's based on how our brains actually work.)
Graham commented that a lot of leadership training is actually wasted because people's heads are 'not in the game'. So Graham and his team spend a lot of time making sure the people they work with have the right mind-set before they start helping them to learn and apply leadership skills.
Graham told me that his firm specialises in working with larger businesses and organisations with their leadership training and consulting. (They understand how large organisations work and know how to get things done in that type of work environment.)
I really liked the way that Graham talked about leadership.
He noted that there are leadership opportunities at every level in most organisations.
Leadership is not about "rah rah follow me". Leadership is about lifting your head up from your work and looking at what is going on around you. Then putting some ideas forward and working with other people to get some positive changes happening.
Graham explained that one of the key reasons they love training people in leadership is that it is very positive. People develop greater confidence and belief in themselves and their ability to take control of their lives. Leaders also grow other leaders. And developing leaders is also a critical strategy to help any organisation cope with the challenge of change.
When I asked each business owner these four questions I received a huge amount of useful and interesting information about what makes their business unique and special.
(And in this column I've only been able to share a tiny amount of what each person told me.)
When you ask these four questions about your own business you'll soon discover a number of ways that your business is unique and special compared to your competitors.
And sharing this information with potential clients makes it more likely that some of them will choose your business to spend their money with.
'Be different so that people can see you clearly amongst the crowds.'
- Mehmet Murat ildan
Ask yourself these four questions.
Take some of the answers you come up with and share them with potential clients as good reasons for them to use your business.