Your customers are buying from you – but is it for the reasons that you think?

Why should a customer choose you over anyone else? What is your unique value?

In all my years working with big brands, this is the question most struggle to answer. It might seem obvious but being able to articulate what you really do for customers, takes more thought than a few sweeping, generic statements about being ‘market-leading’ or ‘unique’. But don’t fear, by the end of this blog you will be able to answer it with confidence.

Understanding your own value.

All the answers likely already exist within you so it’s just a case of teasing them out and making sure they align to what your customers are really after. Spoiler alert… it’s not your product or service. 

The value of your business lies in how you meet the specific needs of your customers better / faster / cheaper / more ethically than anyone else. I am not talking just about the immediate needs that your product or service fulfils, but their deeper, more emotional needs.

Using this value to market your business

Take 22 stories for example. People buy marketing services because they want to attract more customers or at least that’s what we think. It would make sense therefore to market myself as someone that can help them get more sales. Problem is, that’s what everyone is doing.

The trick is to scratch under the surface to understand why they want to attract more customers. What does having money in the bank and a thriving business mean to them? Is it scratching an itch or enabling a dream?

Once you understand their need, you then have to align it to how you talk about your business. So, if my customers’s goal was to retire at 40 and live by the sea, that’s exactly where I would start my marketing pitch.

Note – sometimes your customers may not for fully aware of their emotional needs and it may be part of your job to help them understand them

Your story is a powerful sales and marketing tool

Every business has its own unique story to tell. With a surging trend towards small brands with more ethical values, customers are actively seeking out businesses whose ‘story’ aligns with their own world view.

Your story also provides the evidence to prove why you are the expert. For example, as a small biz owner myself, I understand first hand what my customers (other small businesses) are going through. I wouldn’t be able to claim the same, if I had only ever worked for big corporates. 

You can read more about the power of storytelling in business here

Relevance is everything

However, it’s not enough just to tell your story. Your customers need to be able to relate to it.

For example, I’ve got 20 years IT marketing experience. If I was targeting a tech start up, I would tell them this but it’s not enough on its own. If however, I said that this experience enabled me to plug skills gaps in their team so they could avoid the cost of having to hire more staff, well then the value is clear.

I also might go on to say that my technical knowledge meant I could deliver their project quicker and more cost effectively as they wouldn’t have to waste time or money getting me up to speed. Double whammy. 

A quick exercise to get you started. 

  1. Get a piece of paper and write your company name at the top. Underneath, list out all the reasons why someone should buy from you. 
  2. Next, cover up your company name and look at your list again. Or they really unique to you? Could you put someone else’s brand at the top and them say the same? 
  3. Pick out the reasons which you feel are truly unique. Jot down what each one means for your customers; does it help them do something better/cheaper, feel a certain way, achieve a goal etc?
  4. Finally, list out what gives you the right to claim these reasons.

The next step is to test what you have found out.

Look at everywhere you talk about your business. Is your value clear? Does it align to the needs and world view of your customers? Do you have the proof to back it up?

If the answer is no, then maybe it’s time to think about working on your value proposition as you may be missing a trick when it comes with helping potential customers quickly see why they should work with you.

P.S using someone external to your business to help you craft this really helps. They can often be more objective, putting themselves in the shoes of your customers without the natural bias that can come when you do this exercise alone #justsaying