What makes you different from your competitors? Sometimes this can be a difficult question. Why? Well, you know what unique touches you bring to your endeavors, your product or service or the way you run your business. But this knowledge can blind you to how your prospect sees you.
You want to shake yourself from this thinking. You need to look at your position in the business world the way potential customers might—the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) principle, with “me” being your prospect.
Let’s take Messenger Services. I looked at websites for three of them. They all:
- Stated 24/7 availability
- Delivered with bikes, walkers or cars
- Claimed the most dependability and quickness
I believe they all meant well, but I didn’t see any real differentiators between them. I could choose any of them. But as a responsible consumer I need to know more. I want to be sold on the experience of using their service.
The Three S’s
So, what would have impressed me on their sites and truly differentiated their businesses? The Three S’s:
Most companies keep statistics. Maybe these messenger services could have supplied data on the percentage of their deliveries that were made on-time and positioned this data against industry standard data.
(A word of caution on statistics, however. Sprinkle them into your site, rather than flood them throughout the site. They can appear cold, if overdone.)
If a good story exists on how the company was founded, use it. If there’s a huge client, post it. If there’s a compelling story about the company, tell it.
For example, in my role as small business columnist for the online Chicago Examiner, I did a piece on a company called Odd Bodd. I asked the co-founder about the company name. It turns out it was the name of a character from a movie spoof of Frankenstein produced in the UK (the business owner was from there). When the owner was a child, his sister tagged him with that nickname. It turned out to be the perfect name for the business (very Googleable!).
Samples act as testimonials. As business owners, you want to cultivate these. They’re usually easy to get. And when written correctly, they help convert clients. When you write them, make sure they are:
- Short (no more than three to five sentences)
- Authentic (real words from real customers)
Making the Three S’s Work Over Time
The real secret to making the three S’s work for your site? Regularly change the content. Update the site with new statistics. Rotate samples and stories that could appear dated. Fresh statistics, stories and samples keep prospects interested and help to differentiate you from your competitors.