By Claudia Newcorn, SBDC Consultant
Are you boring when it comes to presenting your business to prospects? If so, you may be encouraging them just to choose you based on price.
Too often, neither printed materials nor a website markets a company as effectively as they could because the choice of words fails to differentiate the firm from the competition. Given that statistics indicate that 80% of people now check out a company’s website to learn more about them, it’s vital to realize that it’s not just what you say, but how you say it, that can make a tremendous difference.
Let’s start with three common points that everybody seems to say – and see if you recognize yourself.
- “We provide great customer service.”- Do you know anybody who announce they provide lousy customer service?
- “We care about our customers.” Well, I certainly hope so! But isn’t this a given-unless you are doing something remarkable?
- “We do our work with pride and integrity.” Isn’t this expected of you?
I call these “So what?” selling points, because they are a given – of course you do this. The problem is that when you rely on these as your key selling points, you sound like everybody else out there. That means customers are more likely to compare your products or services based on price. Which you don’t want.
Instead, you want them to compare you on value – all the additional end-benefits they get by working with you, instead of a competitor. Stuff you can’t necessarily put a price on, but implies that the quality of your product or service will be far superior.
You want to stand out. How do you do that? By writing your copy from the viewpoint of the customer. In other words, how does your product or service satisfy their wants and needs? That’s what a prospect is really looking for when they are learning about you – how do you fulfill their needs better than somebody else? It’s all in the language.
Look at it this way – a BMW has 4-wheels and an engine; so does a VW Bug. They are both cars that get you where you want to go. Why do some people by one or the other? Because the language is written specifically to “push the hot buttons” of the target audience. Not only what they need in a car, but what they want in a car. One of these wants is what the cars say to others about them. Such as, “Look at me!”, “Wouldn’t you like to be as successful as I am?”, “I like to have fun,” “I’m environmentally conscious.”
Some real life examples:
Picture framing company:
- Typical selling point: “We have a great selection of frames at great prices.”
- End-benefit oriented selling point: “Make your picture stand out with our extensive selection of frames designed to fit every budget.”
- Typical: Satisfaction guaranteed. Free estimates.
- End-benefit: Making homes look beautiful for over 20 years.
- Typical: Your comfort and satisfaction is our goal.
- End-benefit: Come in for a great smile.
Your choice of words is one of your most critical marketing tools. Watch your language!