How can my business gain a competitive advantage?
Convincing prospective customers to choose your business over a competitor can be one of your toughest challenges. When the perceived benefits of your products and services are difficult for customers to distinguish, sales can suffer. To gain a competitive edge, we’d like to offer a few tips:
Develop a clear value proposition.
If your product or service is similar to others, you need to position your business in a way that sets you apart in your customers’ minds. This is where your value proposition comes in. Your value proposition should explain why a prospect should buy from you. This could be your price point, a better guarantee, 24/7 service or perhaps you cater to a particular demographic that others in the market overlook.
Be a trusted source of information.
Everyone wants a mechanic who can diagnose their car problems accurately and won’t tack on unnecessary repairs. Similarly, we want doctors, insurance agents and contractors who care about us and provide accurate, useful information. Look for opportunities to be a trusted resource. Blogs, videos and social media posts are one way to share knowledge such as industry-relevant data or interesting current events. Customers appreciate unbiased information and tend to work with people who help them.
Build a great online reputation.
With the vast amount of information available in just a few clicks, the first step today’s consumers often take is to compare online reviews of products and services. Companies that get high ratings and positive feedback have a strong competitive advantage. While you cannot control what customers say, you CAN deliver excellent customer service and encourage satisfied customers to share their experiences on Yelp, Google and other applicable sites. Monitor these pages and respond quickly to any concerns. In addition, post customer testimonials on your website and other online profiles to demonstrate why prospective customers should put their trust in your business.
The bottom line: The best salespeople are often a company’s own customers. By offering them innovative products, helpful information and great service, you can turn them into devoted fans ─ perhaps the best competitive advantage of all.