“Why should I do business with you, instead of any and all other options I have?”
Don’t ever forget that this question that goes through each of your prospect’s minds before they choose to do business with you and through each of your customer’s minds before they return to buy from you again.
It’s a question you must take the time to formulate an answer to. Otherwise, in your market’s mind, you become like every other business who sells the same products or services as you.
It doesn’t matter what product or service is being offered, your customers can go nearly anywhere and find the exact same (or very similar) products or services offered for the same price, or perhaps for even less money than what you charge. So why shouldn’t they?
Think about your own behaviour as a customer, for a minute. Why do you do shop at the same stores or eat at the same restaurants over and over again?
Most likely, it’s because they offer you something you can’t get from their competitors. Maybe they’re closer to where you live or work. Maybe they make the best cheese toastie with just the right melt factor. Maybe they’re cheap. Or maybe you just feel comfortable… almost like you’re at home while you’re in their place of business. It may not be one single thing that influences you, but rather a combination of several factors.
Nevertheless, the businesses you continue to frequent give you something special. Something unique. Something you just can’t get anywhere else; and that keeps you coming back over and over again.
If you expect people to do business with you rather than your competition, it’s imperative that you have something to offer that your competition doesn’t have.
Ideally, this will be something your competition can’t offer. Something that sets you and the products or services you offer apart from everyone else in your type of business.
That’s what’s known as your Unique Competitive Advantage, or UCA.
No matter what you choose to define your unique factor, it’s one of the most critical, yet most often overlooked marketing tools in business, today.
Without a clearly defined factor that differentiates you are sets you apart from everyone else who offers the same (or similar) products or services as you, your business will be no different than any other business your clients or prospects will encounter, and there will be no reason for others to do business with you rather than your competitors.
On the other hand, a well thought-out, carefully identified UCA can differentiate you and your business and make you stand out from your competition as unique, different, and special, and the business enterprise that’s most desirable to do business with.
Coming up with your own UCA doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s simply a matter of identifying what you have to offer your clients, customers or prospects – but this is the clincher… it has to go beyond what the product or service you offer can provide.
Let’s say you’re involved with a product or service that is so similar to others in the marketplace, that there is no significant difference between them.
In that case, your UCA must be something you or your firm or business can offer, exclusive of the features or benefits of the product or service you sell.
Even if the advantage you offer is related to quality, service, dependability, convenience, professionalism, etc., just to state those facts is not enough.
Let’s face it: your competitor probably says the same thing!
You must find ways to quantify, or identify specifically, how those items benefit, or provide advantage to the end user. When you use phrases or words like, “Top Quality,” “The Best, Most Reliable Service,” “Dependable Delivery,” or “We offer top-of-the-line products, the best service, and the lowest prices,” they ring hollow in the ears of your prospects and clients.
These are too vague and meaningless. Not only can most of your competitors say the same things, they do say them. Instead, you want to be very clear about how the advantages you offer will benefit your customers.
Tell them exactly what they can expect from you. It may be that you only offer your customers, clients and prospects the highest quality, “top-of-the-line” products. If so, that’s great. But tell them in very specific, definable and quantifiable terms so they understand exactly what “highest quality, top-of-the-line” means to them, and how they’ll benefit.
Maybe you have the lowest prices in the industry or your market area. If so, that’s good. But how much lower are you? How much can your prospects and customers save by buying from you?
Perhaps the support you offer in terms of education, service or marketing assistance is superior to that offered by your competitors.
Or it could be that you offer free shipping, extended hours or better trained salespeople or advisers.
Those are all good things to offer. But, in and of themselves, they don’t say much. To use these features for to their fullest advantage, you must quantify them.
Show your prospects and clients very clearly how much lower, how much better, how much superior, how much of an advantage they’ll get by doing business with you. Be Specific!
Spell out exactly, clearly and specifically what advantages and benefits your customers will gain. Whatever you choose to make your UCA, remember, it must be perceived as desirable to your prospects and customers. In other words, they have to consider it to be of value to them.
If you can, make your UCA that’s something exclusive to you and your business operation. The more exclusive or proprietary you can make it, the less competition you’ll have.
If you’re the only one who offers that something extra, whatever it may be, your clients or prospects can’t get it from anyone else at any price. It’s simply not available.
And, if that something extra is exclusive to you, no one can compete with you, and that gives you a great advantage in your marketplace.
That “something”, whatever it is, becomes your Unique Competitive Advantage – your UCA. It’s the thing, the reason, the advantage, that will make it not only worthwhile, but beneficial and advantageous… even desirable for others to do business with you.
Want to chat about how this can work for you, or get some clarity on what your UCA might be? Call or email us today to make a time for a complimentary chat. We’re here to help – and we give it to you STRAIGHT!
Phone 8239 0122 or email Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org