How to avoid ending up dead in the water
Here's a picture to get your attention:
I'll explain what he's doing there in a minute...
...but first, here's a question every customer asks but which absurdly few marketers bother to deal with in their messages.
"Why should I choose you?"
In fact, Dan Kennedy puts it even better: "Why should I, your prospect, choose to do business with you versus any and every other option?"
We try very hard with everything we do to make sure we give our prospects great reasons to choose us over every other accountant who's out there. Some people get it - and they become clients. And some don't - and that's fine.
But enough get it that we're building a great business - you can see that from our testimonials.
But we don't market ourselves as 'just another accountant'.
And unless you can answer Dan Kennedy's question, you're dead in the water.
So always make sure you differentiate yourself.
Make sure that you do so in every single message you send out or run...
Because if you don't, you're making things needlessly hard for your customers. They have to base their choice on little more than guesswork.
And if they can't differentiate you from your competitors, then they'll choose on price.
One man, Rosser Reeves, built a huge advertising agency by finding and promoting a kind of differentiation: he called it the USP - the unique selling proposition.
Rosser's idea - simple, like all good ones - was to find one benefit nobody else could offer and hammer it home relentlessly.
Outstanding businesses have been founded on a USP alone.
For example, here's a very well known USP...
"Red hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less - guaranteed."
Tom Monahan of Domino's Pizza created one of the most successful fast-food franchises in the world from the strength of this USP.
So did Fred Smith of FedEx ("When it absolutely positively has to be there overnight - FedEx").
Of course, finding your USP may be easier said than done. Many businesses are similar.
So here's a list of 21 things to start you thinking:
- Are you unique?
- Better value?
- The most trusted?
- The friendliest?
- The first?
- The top seller?
- The most tested?
- Give quicker service?
- The most advanced?
- The latest?
- The oldest?
- The most loved?
- The one experts prefer?
- The most reliable?
- More fun?
- Sold in a special way?
- Easier to deal with?
- More helpful?
And don't get side-tracked by the word 'Unique'.
It doesn't matter if everyone else in your industry does the same. If you're the only person saying it, you own it.
A good example is Carphone Warehouse.
Were they the only firm offering advice to phone buyers?
They were just the only ones saying so.
What's more, if others start talking about the benefit you're promoting, they can even end up selling for you.
That's because you've fixed that particular benefit in people's minds and they associate you with it.
And don't stop with just one USP.
The more reasons you give, the better you do.
And sometimes by bundling a few together you end up with a sort of packaged USP.
Why the mole?
Because to find the things that make you different, you have to dig. So go ahead. Get digging.