If you’re a business owner, chances are that you’ve honed your craft. You likely have many years of industry experience, understand your market inside and out, and are great at what you do. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have had the confidence to start a business!
Unfortunately, industry expertise and experience aren’t enough to sustain a business. In fact, having the best products and services isn’t even enough. The truth is that, without a knack for marketing and sales, your business is little more than a hobby.
Regardless of the product or service you deliver to your clients, it’s important to remember that every single business is in the business of marketing.
If you can’t effectively convince prospects that you’re worth buying from, you’re not going to make many sales—plain and simple!
5 Levels of Marketing You Need to Master
There are five key areas of marketing that you need to master if you hope for your business to succeed:
1. Acquiring New Customers
Prospects don’t make purchases by accident. Rather, you will need to prove to them that your products and services are unique, valuable, and worth buying in order to convert them into paying customers.
2. Upselling to Customers
Did you know that selling a single product or service to a new customer could actually represent a wasted opportunity? The power of upselling and cross-selling is that it can turn low-ticket customers into high-ticket clients for your business.
3. Selling to Customers More Often
It takes a significant amount of time, money, and resources to convert a prospect into a customer. Rather than settling for a one-time purchase, the marketing-conscious business owner can convince them to come back.
4. Keeping Customers
Over time, competitors emerge, and new products and services land on the market. The marketing-driven business owner fosters customer relationships and works relentlessly to deliver more value so that their clients stick around.
5. Generating Customer Referrals
Constantly turning prospects into customers is a difficult job for one person to manage. By leveraging your existing customer base, however, you can multiply your results without increasing your current efforts.
The #1 Question EVERY Business Owner Must Answer
To truly master each of these important marketing functions, there’s one question that every business owner must be able to answer for their prospects and customers:
“Out of all the choices I have, including doing nothing, why should I choose to buy your product or service?”
In other words, why you? What separates your business from the rest of the competition? In marketing terms, this “distinction” is called your unique selling position (USP).
Of course, one of the most common pushbacks to this question is “…but I sell a commodity.” But consider this: even if you sell a commodity, you’re going to need to find ways to stand out. If there’s nothing different about your business, customers are going to buy that commodity from the business that is cheapest or most convenient. And guess what? In a crowded market, that most likely isn’t going to be you!
So, how do you distinguish your business from your competitors? It starts with not only assessing your products and services but also observing them through your customer’s eyes.
4 Steps to Establish Your Business’s Unique Selling Position (USP)
Follow these steps to create your business’s very own USP:
1. Identify the Areas Where You Currently Stand Out
Perform a full review of your sales and product delivery processes to identify the areas in which you do things differently than your competitors. Of course, there may be many things you do differently, but focus on the aspects that your customers see benefit in.
2. Determine Where You Can Make Your Own Category
Can you tweak your business model so that you’re delivering something slightly different than the other businesses in your market? For example, many CPAs work with small business owners, but we have created the category of “profit coaching for small businesses.”
3. Find a Niche to Specialize in
You might assume that niching down and narrowing your target demographic limits your sales potential, but it actually has the opposite effect. Aligning with a specific type of customer, their industry, and their unique needs will allow you to resonate more with those customers.
4. Let Your Customers Compare You to the Field
Finally, have you forced your customers to compare apples to oranges? By this point, your products and services should be unique enough that customers who want your products and services have no option aside from you!