You’re determined to make a mark with your product or service and you’re excited to build your customer base.
That’s the first step, and it’s an important one. But in a crowded marketplace, how do you differentiate yourself?
If your prospective clients can buy essentially the same products or services from anyone else who does what you do, why should they choose you?
Everyone you’re competing with is telling your target market that they offer a superior product and exemplary client service, so it’s crucial that you set yourself apart from the rest.
So, how do you ensure that you stand out in a crowd?
Consider expert Dan Kennedy’s fundamental marketing question, “Why should I do business with you, as opposed to anyone else who does what you do?”
The answer: With a magical marketing proposition that makes them want you, and only you.
The first thing you need to do to develop this is stop thinking of yourself as someone who does what other people do.
If you are dentist, stop thinking of yourself as a dentist. Start thinking of yourself as the only person who can provide the exact service you provide. (I know, any dentist can provide pretty much the same services. But keep reading and I will show you how to re-create yourself as a category of one.)
That way when you tell your prospects what you do, they are clamoring for your services.
When someone asks you what you do, how do you answer? You have just one chance to get it right and to engage the client by convincing them that you’ve got something others in your market don’t.
I’ll share an example from a client of mine.
And yes, he is a dentist. My first question to him, which is the same basic question I pose during any initial consultation was this: “Who is your ideal patient?” He said, “I’m a dentist. I can help anyone with teeth.” Feeling snarky, and trying to prove an important point, I said, “Hang on, doc. Let me call everyone in my contact list on my iPhone. I will ask them if they still have teeth, and if they do, I will tell them they have to call you!”
You can immediately see the problem with this approach. If you are trying to be everything to everybody, you are really nothing different, for no one special.
So what’s the solution?
In the case of my dentist client, we analyzed his patient base, and found out who his ideal patient truly was. As it turned out, it was an affluent, suburban woman, between the ages of 40-50, who had been divorced within the last six months. She was starting to date again, and terrified of competing against younger women.
She wanted to do something to make herself more confident in her appearance, but didn’t want plastic surgery. Is that a specifically defined market or what?
We soon reinvented my client’s entire practice. It now looks more like a spa than a dentist’s office. You get your $25,000 (cash only) divorce smile makeover while sitting in a massage chair (not a dental chair), and simultaneously getting a mani-pedi. His practice picks you (and a friend) up for your appointment in a limo, serves you champagne, and makes you feel like a million bucks.
My dentist client has now fired all of his other patients, and he focuses solely on divorce smile makeovers. He makes four times as much money, and works 60% fewer hours.
Does that change your marketing message?
You think that starts a conversation? You bet it does! All of a sudden you have clients doing your marketing for you — in this case, other women are asking your patient questions because they want to know how to get the same experience.
It’s an advanced strategy, but it illustrates the importance of determining exactly who your target market is. And it works even better if you can offer that target audience a customized solution as well.
You don’t necessarily need a new, specialized product, you just need to reimagine and rewrap your existing one to target the audience that will really impact your business.
And while you don’t have to do anything like what my dentist client did, I do hope his story gets your wheels turning as to the possibilities of market differentiation.
If you want more help defining you magical marketing proposition or customizing your product for your target market I can help. It starts with a free strategy session.