A local community magazine and business directory came through my door this morning. It’s a small A5 format publication containing community news pieces, articles and local business adverts. I always have a look through as occasionally there is an interesting article and it only takes a few minutes.
On one page, I saw something which prompted me put these few thoughts together.
The page in question contained only adverts, 4 in total, with 3 of them being adverts from people in the same trade.
Nothing unusual in that other than perhaps it’s rather unlucky for the tradespeople that their adverts were placed on a “competitive” page. Brilliant for potential customers though as there are 3 competing businesses on the one page – nice and easy!
You see there is nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing in the layout or wording of the adverts that would compel someone to call or email any business in preference to another. This is missing a trick. In a competitive landscape, businesses need to put effort into being different. They need to stand out from the crowd. They have to articulate why a potential customer should use them rather than a competitor.
In this example, a potential customer is more than likely going to contact 2 or perhaps all three of the businesses advertising, and request quotations and probably go with the cheapest.
What if one of the adverts offered unique value which made sure the business received the first call or email? What if the advert simply looks like it has been placed by a professional and trustworthy trades-person rather than almost copied word for word from another ad?
Businesses need to think about why people buy the service they (and competitors) provide. They need to think beyond price. What is the customer looking to achieve? (the outcome). How would these customers define a great customer experience – I promise you, price will not be the most important.
Businesses should consider how they can tailor their service to these outcomes in a way that others are not. Sometimes, this is as simple as changing the way they talk about their business. They don’t necessarily have to change anything beyond what they actually say. They do of course have to remain professional; only promising what they WILL deliver.
So, in summary. Businesses need to be different, be unique, and be creative to stand out from the crowd. Giving those potential customers a reason to contact them first and then make sure that they are prepared to articulate clearly and concisely what they provide that their competitors will not.