When seeking to differentiate their businesses, most companies focus on what they believe they do better than their competition – which is exactly what the competition is doing.
This leaves the prospect confused – and a confused buyer will say no – to both companies
The Right Problems Are Invisible
You can be very effective at differentiating your business by being the best at helping your customers understand problems they don't know they have. This is the objective of content marketing – educating your community.
Education cures ignorance, and ignorance is the reason most problems are invisible. Where should you look for these problems?
The problems people don't know they have usually require long-term solutions. Most businesses (and most consumers) are only thinking short-term. Is it any wonder then why price is often the deciding factors for many buyers?
Identifying hidden problems not only sets your company apart, it creates alignment between that problem and your solution – if not for any other reason than the fact that you had the foresight to identify it.
Graphically Make the Problem Real
Long-term problems are so far out in the future many people have trouble understanding them. This is why it is essential to use images, videos, and other graphic tools to make that problem real.
How you do this will depend upon the type of business your operate. Doctors use x-rays, financial advisors used diagrams and charts, and home inspectors walk you right up to the problem so that you can see for yourself.
How do these professionals know which problems are the right ones? Because they know their competition and see the same short-term "band-aid" solutions time and again.
So do you. You know the short-cuts that others take to make a transaction. Use that information to build a relationship by taking the high road and refusing to apply band-aids when surgery is necessary.
It would be malpractice for a doctor to diagnose a solution without having carefully performed an examination. Yet, many businesses do exactly that. They offer a universal solution – a magic pill that will cure all ailments.
Find Problems with No Solution and Solve Them
People are curious. They want to know more about what nobody else is talking about. That's why this strategy is almost unfair.
Once the word gets out new customers will be chasing you, instead of the other way around. Everyone wants what is in short supply – and that is without exception anything that takes a little more effort to discover.
Businesses tend to have solutions looking for problems that fit them. Consider looking for problems for which there are no solutions – and find them too.
Now you are on the right track for building a business with distinction – one that will avoid the commoditization trap.
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Until tomorrow, Jeff
Photo Credit: andercismo