Standing out from the competition is critical to your business’ growth and success. But it can be a struggle in a rapidly changing market where your competitors regularly claim to be #1, fee pressures are rising, and consumer expectations are at an all time high. To truly stand out, you must have an effective point of difference that is valuable to your customers, credible and provable, and embedded into everything you do.
We recently hosted our Ailo Growth Academy with Melbourne University Marketing Professor Simon Bell to help unpack this, and like the good students we are, we took notes.
Here is what we learnt and how you can put Professor Bell’s lessons into practice.
1. You only need one hook
The first step towards achieving differentiation is understanding and clearly defining what makes you valuable to your customers. Selectivity however, is key, as you can’t be everything to everyone all the time.
Rather than focusing on the laundry list of services you offer, promote just one to two things that you excel in, and simply ensure you are at industry standard for everything else.
Why should someone do business with you instead of your competition? Be specific, be consistent, and as you’ll read more about in our next learning, be ready to back it up.
2. Prove it or lose it
Every man and his dog claims to be #1, especially in real estate. However there is a difference between saying you’re number one and providing tangible evidence that you are, in fact, better than the rest.
For example, if your hook is that you provide “the best customer communication” in the market, you might prove this by offering an after hours call service, promising to return enquiries within the hour, regularly asking your customers for feedback, or proudly display an Ailo Excellence Customer Communications trophy in your office.
3. Hands off your price!
Lowering your fees will not equate to a point of difference or to sustaining a loyal customer base.
As an industry we find it hard to define the value we create for our clients and to experiment with new ways to serve our clients. As a result, we have retreated into discussions on fees, but our research proves that fees don't actually drive growth or competitive dynamics.
Has a customer used price as a reason to leave your business? In the majority of cases, there is almost always more to it. If a customer says they are leaving you because of your fees, dig deeper for feedback. It’s a whole lot easier to say ‘you’re too expensive’ instead of ‘I don’t like you’ or ‘you provide a poor service’.
If a prospective customer brings up another agency’s fees, highlight how your agency delivers a more valuable service – and is therefore deserving of higher fees!
For example, businesses who use Ailo can claim they:
4. Customer experience = 💰
Our final learning - focus your value proposition on an element of customer experience.
It may not always feel like it, but we are in the business of customer service, and it’s been proven that if you optimise the experience, your revenue will increase by at least 5-10%.
Who can say no to that?