The Hard Questions: What Makes Your Business Better?
One of the most challenging questions that we work with our clients on is centered on finding value and uniqueness in their own business. Often, clients have started their business and gotten into a great routine of finding clients and selling their services and/or products.
What makes your services better than someone else’s? What makes you more qualified than another person? This is one of the hard questions because it almost always inflicts an initial reaction of self-doubt. It’s hard to reflect and say aloud what makes you special, unique, or truly different from your competition. Sometimes people struggle because they don’t want to seem overly confident. Other times people don’t actually know what makes them stand apart from their competition.
The even harder follow-up is this: tell me about what makes your business better, and your answer cannot be ‘customer service.’ This one is particularly hard for certain industries, like real estate, insurance, and trades--where the products and exchanges are generally the same and most qualified agents and companies offer the exact same services.
The truth: No company establishes itself on the concept of poor customer service. So every company that I’ve ever come across prides itself on great customer service. As a consumer, I personally just expect good customer service. I love being surprised and delighted by exceptional customer service, but that “we really care about our customers” does not mean much to me from a marketing perspective.
Does anyone else care about your business? This is another hard question that I’ve worked through with several clients who are interested in starting lifestyle businesses. Part of marketing is asking these hard questions that may seem discouraging when they’re really about helping to identify a market that a) exists and b) is willing to pay for what you’re offering. You need to know that people care, and enough people care--and then, on top of that, you need to have a good path to monetization.
The truth: Friends and family will always care about your business because they care about you. When you start to expand to building to a marketing campaign, there needs to be an awareness of and understanding that your new customers and consumers may not care about you personally--and they may not care about your business. BUT, if you can identify the right market and ensure that there’s a market that’s willing to pay for what you’re offering, then your marketing can be successful.