It’s a competitive world out there and you’re feverishly trying to think of ways to compete more successfully explains Paul Haarman. So how do you establish yourself as the clear choice in your target market? How do you differentiate yourself from your competition? How do you get people to buy from you instead of that guy down the street, or all those other guys out there on the World Wide Web? The answer is simple – offer a unique value proposition.
You see, it doesn’t matter if someone has a similar product or service as yours – if they don’t have what YOU have, they’ll have no chance of competing against you successfully. And I’m not just talking about side by side comparisons here either. In some cases people will buy from you even if your product or service is way better as long as it isn’t too big of a difference. In fact, according to a study conducted by Edward E. Jones & Victor A. Harris called The Attribution of Attitudes , the consumer’s predisposition towards a particular brand can be influenced simply by varying one word in a question asked about another more neutral brand! This is powerful stuff.
So let’s look at numerous ways to give YOUR business that critical edge over your competitors – the kind that makes your customers want to tell their friends and colleagues about you instead of them:
Edwin Land – Inventor of the Polaroid camera
1. Give Your Customers What They Before They Know How Badly They Want It
The term ‘satisfaction guaranteed’ doesn’t mean anything unless your customers feel they got their money’s worth – and they won’t feel that way unless you’ve really given them something. The solution? Give them more. But not too much more – you don’t want to make the next guy look like a fool for charging less. You want to give just enough extra value so that people will feel good about what they paid for, but never feel ripped off or taken advantage of.
2. Be the Ultimate Authority, Not Just an Expert among Others
When it comes to doing business I think there are two types of people in this world: those who know everything there is to know about everything under the sun, and those who know their own specialized area better than anyone else on earth. I’m guessing you’re in the latter category if you’re reading this article, but do your customers think of you as THE expert? Are they aware that there’s nobody else they could turn to for advice before making a purchase decision that would be better qualified to answer their questions? Or are they just one set of expertise shy of beating you at your own game? And don’t make the mistake of thinking people won’t pay extra for an authority. They’ll even make it worth YOUR while by asking for your help more often says Paul Haarman.
3. Make People Feel Good about Their Choices, Even the One They Didn’t Pick
I once bought a book called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, and I remember what made me buy it at first. I was browsing the Psychology section of my local bookstore, looking for help with a problem that had been haunting me all day long… okay seriously? Let’s not get too happy about this. But the point is this – even if people don’t pick you or your business, they still have to feel good about having some connection to you. They have to feel as though they’re on the right track without actually getting all their answers from you.
That way they’ll come back when they’re ready for more information, more knowledge, more expertise, and etcetera. When people feel like someone’s trying to make THEM feel bad by ripping off their wallet or talking them out of something they want to buy, they’ll resent you and your business – which will only become a distant memory to them. On the other hand, when people feel like you’re just there to see that they get maximum value for their money, it makes good news for both of you – especially since word-of-mouth can work wonders for YOUR bottom line explains Paul Haarman.
4. Make Your Customers Feel Like They Can Trust In You in Times of Need
People don’t trust everybody all the time. It’s not realistic or practical! So if someone takes a leap of faith with you, do everything in your power to make sure it doesn’t backfire on them. The easiest way is by offering guarantees on your products and services so that they’ll come back even if the first time didn’t work out. But don’t stop there – make sure your customers know that you’re only a phone call away should the need arise, and that you care as much about them as you do about your business. That way, not only will they keep coming to you for help, but also recommend you to their friends and family members should someone else be looking for a solution to their problems .
Customer satisfaction is all about having your customers walk away happy, and feeling like they made a good choice – which only comes from them feeling as though they got their money’s worth says Paul Haarman. You don’t want to give too little or too much – you just want to give enough of what people are looking for. Think value, not price!