Running a small business can be a very insular existence so it’s no surprise that as a small business owner, it can be difficult to see your business from the outside. The problem with this is that if you don’t understand the needs of your customers, you marketing message isn’t likely to engage them.
The harsh fact is that most consumers really don’t care about your business. And indeed, as we’re all consumers ourselves, we should realise that when it comes to buying products or services, we’re only interested in how those products or services will benefit us.
Sorry, Your Customers Don’t Care
When I look through most small business marketing material, the single biggest mistake is that all the references are to “Us” and “We” – You can tell your customers when you were established, or how great your service is, or that you use “quality” products, but really, does anyone care?
If I’m looking to buy a product or service, the ONLY thing I’m interested in is what that product or service will do for ME. So rather than preaching to your customers about your business, why not start telling them what your business can do for them?
Flick That Switch
You need to ensure that your website content, your marketing material and all of your adverts are written as if they’re being seen from your customers perspective.
This is a common statement I see a lot in marketing and advertising copy for small businesses…
FREE QUOTES WITHOUT OBLIGATION
So what? Nearly every business offers free quotes to what’s the benefit to the customer reading that? Perhaps a better way of telling your customers that you offer free quotes might be…
RISK-FREE CONSULTATION/INSPECTION/HOME VISIT
What we’re doing here is dropping the word ‘obligation’ which has become so over-used in marketing that it’s universally ignored and replaced it will ‘Risk Free’ which is a term that immediately connects with the emotional side of the reader – they can get a price without the risk of any high pressure sales techniques.
And rather than use the word ‘Quote’, we’ve replaced it with ‘Consultation/Inspection/Home Visit’. Why? Becuase these are all words that give an obvious benefit to the reader:
Consultation – People tend to assume that a consultation is something they have to pay for so if you’re giving it to them for free, there is a financial benefit.
Inspection – An inspection implies that you’re going to look at the customers specific problem and find a solution for them.
Home Visit – A simple statement that tells the customer that they haven’t even got to leave the comfort of their own home to buy your products or services.
Don’t Think About it, Get Going…
I’d guess that you probably have at least a few competitors in your business sector so a simple task is to pick up a Yellow Pages or go to Yell.com and see what supposed benefits your competitors are portraying in their adverts.
Grab a pen and write down every single one of them – then alone or a part of a group brainstorming session, simply look at every one of those statements and ‘flick the switch’ so that it provides a tangible benefit to the customers.
Once you’ve done that, you’ve then got a list of some great benefits that you can use in your marketing and advertising copy, safe in the knowledge that your competitors won’t be.
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