Give me a reason to do business with you. Don’t make me guess what it is; tell me upfront. By the way, it must be because it benefits me, not you.

As obvious as this may sound, we hear messages every day that are more focused on the messenger rather than the audience.

Attacking your competition is SO unattractive

I was listening to a talk radio show as a local business owner called in and berated Walmart and those who shop there. I'm sure you can imagine the reasons she gave, but it came down to the fact that she couldn't compete with what they offer, specifically their prices.

She was encouraging listeners to boycott Walmart and buy from local merchants for the sole reason of them being local. When you think about it, she was asking for entrepreneurial welfare.

Don't get me wrong; I am a big supporter of local businesses. However, I don't do so out of obligation or protest. I support those who provide an experience I find to be superior in some way. I will absolutely give a local business consideration because they’re local, but if they want my repeated business, there must be something about the experience that brings me back.

It’s a free market

The very market that allows an entrepreneur to go into business in the first place rewards those who create some competitive advantage. If you struggle as a business, you need to work on fixing your business. Attacking other businesses in no way improves yours.

The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time. – Henry Ford

I also care very little about the details of your business. I don’t care how long you’ve been in business, how big you are, or where you’re located. Those are all ways of describing you and do nothing to tell me how I will benefit from bringing you my business. At the most, those are things WAY down on my list of considerations.

Reasons that are about ME

If you’re a small business owner and the main reason you give your customers to buy from you is “price,” you’ll lose that business battle. However, you'll likely get attention if you emphasize the overall value or experience you offer.

As a small business, you have the potential to create a meaningful advantage over your larger competitors. Here are just a few ways to swing the pendulum in your favor.

  • Convenience
  • Better results
  • Focused attention
  • Consultation/advisory services
  • A product/service I can’t get anywhere else
  • Someone who takes the time to know me
  • A more enjoyable environment/experience

Those are reasons that benefit me. And guess what? When it benefits me, it also benefits you. Think about the value proposition you offer clients. What promise are you making that will give them an incentive to work with you? 

At Q4intelligence, here's how we define our value proposition:

We help agencies put the right number of the right opportunities into their pipeline, systematically move those opportunities to close, and run more efficient organizations around the resulting clients.

The target moves

Be prepared to adjust your business model and value proposition over time. There are countless examples of businesses (Borders and Blockbuster, for example) that took their respective industries by storm. However, they failed to adjust their model and value proposition over time. Soon, they were lying on the side of the road along with the businesses they caused to go under.

Give me a reason, and I'll buy from you today, but also, be prepared to adjust so that I still have a valid reason tomorrow.

Photo by antoniodiaz