It’s rare to be a one-of-a-kind business, with no competition. If that describes your business, you are fortunate, assuming there is a demand for your business. Nonverbal alien communicators may have a niche in the marketplace, for example, but it might be too small to be profitable.
Most of us, however, compete with other businesses that provide similar products and services, or at least meet the same felt needs as other products. After all, how many companies produce “whole grain” breakfast cereal with cartoon figures on the box or bag?
How will you rise above the competition in the minds of potential customers? What sets you apart? What is unique or remarkable about your business that is going to get people talking about you, and eventually referring your business to others? It’s not enough to have a solid product or a sought-after service. If your business is not perceived as special, you’ll have to rely on where you sit alphabetically in the yellow pages or sit on page 4 in Google.
Years of slick promotions and bait-and-switch offers, combined with a still-struggling economy have left consumers somewhat skeptical and reluctant to spend.
What they are looking for includes:
- Value. Will this product or service add something to my life or the lives of those around me? Will it make life easier or more interesting?
- Honesty. Will this product or service do what it says it will? Will I have any problems getting the product serviced or replaced if necessary? How will you make it up to me if I’m not satisfied?
- Love and Respect. Does the person behind the counter see me as a person or an interruption? Is this product designed to meet my unique needs? Does the company care about my opinions about the product? Will the service providers leave my home like they found it? Will they work around my schedule?
- Wow Factor. Was working with this company a memorable experience? Is this something I can talk about around the water cooler? Is it a business I would recommend to others?
Businesses are built on referrals. Referrals come from happy customers. Happy customers are created when you exceed their expectations. Once you create happy customers, they become the greatest resource for building your business. So, it is vitally important you track your interactions with them and treat them like individuals. CRM software can help you do that.
Referrals need to be easily identifiable in your CRM System as they are a key ingredient in your business relationship development strategy. And by using the related knowledge linked to the referral contact you can grow your business more quickly and build a long term asset.
So go ahead. Make your business as unique as you are. Give them something to talk about.
What have do find in the real-world of business development that your customers are really looking for?