Are you sure you know how to customize your offering for customers?
Lots of people talk about how unique their products and services are. Many times when I listen to them, I start yawning. Boring… Why? 2 main reasons:
- Sellers tend to look at their offerings from their perspective. How much did this cost me to produce? What features and benefits should I offer?
- Sellers can be lazy. They don’t have a clear sense of their market demographics, and they don't do the market research to validate the characteristics and size of their markets.
What does that mean? Well, it usually translates into sellers becoming product pushers. And when sellers do that, they make it soooooo much harder for buyers to buy. Why is that? Well silly, that’s because you force the buyer to do all the work. They have to examine the offer, and then try to insert it into the problem they are trying to solve. And even if the product will do the trick for them, if you make that process overly difficult, THEY WILL WALK…
So by now you might be thinking, okay smarty pants, what should I be doing? Hey, calm down, I’m about to tell you…
There are only 3 possible general marketing strategies. Pick one of them. When you pick more than one, you’ll end up doing the splits
(oooh, I just felt your pain…)
3 Main Market Strategies:
1. Market focus.
In this strategy, you go deep and learn all you can about the customers. Read the blog articles, look at the websites, join the LinkedIn groups, get the magazines, attend conferences, etc. When prospects know how much you know about them, they will be interested in what you have to say. You will be at worst, an excellent sales consultant, and at best a trusted advisor. Here are the specifics:
- Find a specific niche(s)
- KNOW the industry
- Become an industry expert
2. Price focus.
There are only two reasons that customers buy from you (or at least there should be only 2 reasons). It either saves them money, or it makes them money.
When customers are highly price focused, you must be the low cost provider. Some buyers are always just looking for a deal. In this case, you must make the case for the lowest cost. But do not be deceived into thinking that the lowest price you charge is the lowest cost.
Whoa horse!! What’s that again? Yes, you read that right. The lowest cost might not be what the customer pays you for your offering. Why is that? Well, the customer must consider the total cost of what they are buying. What if they pay more for your offering, but then it saves them more money, or makes them more money elsewhere?
- Eliminate extras where you can
- Add low cost additions that create more benefits
- Drive costs lower with volume purchases or purchase commitments
- Negotiate with your vendors to give you volume discounts
- Use technology to drive down costs
- But don’t get caught in a trap. Walk away from tough customers/areas where you’re not making a decent margin.
3. Differentiation focus.
Does it pay to be different? It can!! Uniqueness can draw attention to you. Sometimes I call it attractor qualities. Think of it as though you are sitting down to a sumptuous meal at a fancy restaurant. Why did you pick that particular dish off the menu? When it’s finally served, what is it about the meal that works? Well, we eat with our eyes before we eat with our mouths. You might consider positioning your business in the same way.
How can you get your customers’ mouth watering for your offerings? There are a number of ways. When your offering appears to resolve their MOST SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM, you are on the right track. But here's the challenge. Sometimes, customers don’t really know what their most significant problem is.
What? No Way, Jose!! Yes, I’m telling you the absolute truth!! Many times, customers see a problem they are trying to solve, but they forget to go deeper and understand the full implications of how that one problem reverberates and causes even more problems elsewhere. Additionally, they are tired of seeing the same old stuff, and are looking for something more innovative.
Here are a few ways you can create differentiation in your business:
- Do you have a unique technology that can be employed?
- How good are you at communicating (calls, emails, texts, etc) that clearly explain where you’re at in the sales/delivery process, listening to the customer, etc. Seems like everything today is done online. Some customers like a more high touch approach.
- Can you give amazing customer service?
- Are you significantly faster than competitors? Speed of delivery can get you a lot of business when that is a critical need
- How great are you at customization or special accommodations for your customers?
The bottom line here is that you must find and exploit your “3 Uniques” within your marketspace. That will help ensure you make your sales targets and keep your company moving forward.
Need some help doing this? Hey, give us a shout!! We’d live to help!!