Ask almost any biz owner, “What’s your top competitive advantage?” and you’ll most likely get a blank stare back in reply. Worse, you might hear, “Great prices!” or “Super customer service!” or “Top quality products!” In other words … not a clue.
If that sounds like you, don’t feel bad. Competitive advantage is one of the toughest things to lasoo in and wrestle to the ground. Most of us have an instinctive sense that we’re the best at what we have to offer. But it’s darn near impossible for most of us to articulate. And until we can do that, how are we ever going to tell the good news to our customers?
So, here are three things you need to know about identifying your competitive advantage:
- It’s something that makes you unique and that sets you apart from the competition. If you have a great product, but so does everyone else, big deal! You have no advantage. However, if you deliver or make house calls – and your competition does not – bingo! This may be your competitive advantage.
- It’s something customers value and desire. You may be the oldest company in your field or have a brand new office building. However, if your customers don’t care about either of these, big deal. It has to be something they want.
- It’s quantifiable. This is key. “We have great customer service” is a non-starter. It says nothing and has no meaning. But if you can say, “Ninety percent of our new customers come from referrals from existing customers,” you have a winner. This claim has teeth. It’s something customers can appreciate.
The bottom line about competitive advantage is that, once understood, it can direct your marketing efforts like a rifle shot, help you close more sales and make more money. And that’s the name of the game.
Want to learn more about competitive advantage? If you’re in the NE Wisconsin area, you’re invited to attend my dog ‘n pony presentation for the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation Power Breakfast series on Tuesday, May 18th (I know, super short notice; sorry about that) at the Northbrook Country Club in Luxemburg. But KCEDC Executive Director Jennifer Brown says just show up. No reservations required.
Work hard. Make money. Have fun.John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur 204 Lakeview Drive Algoma, WI 54201 (920) 559-3722 www.TheFreestyleEntreprenuer.com
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