Marketing the Edge


Let’s face it – there are lots of mediators for our consumers to choose from.

And although there may many reasons you think someone should choose you instead of your competition, these differences must be brought to the clients’ attention.

We call these your competitive advantages. These advantages might be something like location, price, specific experience, etc.  Now let’s add to that list by seeing what else you can do that will make you so unusual that prospects would not even think about hiring a competing mediator.

Adding value can relate to many different things: how fast you respond to
clients, how accessible you are, the services you offer, and your staffing
and client resources.

You can do many things to add value to your services. Make sure that what
you do adds value from your prospect’s and client’s point of view.

Here’s an example: I grew up in the high Rocky Mountains of Idaho. In a town whose population was less than 25,000 folks, but which provided services to more 160,000 people. Essentially – we had a terrific variety of stores to shop in.

The leader of the local department stores (The Paris) was a consistent winner among shoppers, not because of their prices, but because of their value added services.

My hometown measures snow fall in yards, not feet. We get a lot of cold weather and subsequent snow. Shopping in snowy conditions can be less than pleasurable. One value-added service provided to shoppers by The Paris was a coat and parcel check. Sure it’s a small thing, but Mr. Faulkner, the owner, knew that if shoppers weren’t burdened by heavy winter gear and parcels, they would shop longer and buy more.

Mr. Faulkner differentiated his store further by offering a free gift-wrap. Now lots of stores offer gift-wrap services, free or otherwise, but not like The Paris. The Paris offered a gift-wrap service that was the Rolls Royce of wrapping. Their packages were the most beautiful, the classiest, the most recognizable around. In fact, I frequently heard gift recipients express excitement over receiving a Paris gift, long before they could even begin to guess what was in the box. The gift-wrapping was nearly as important as the actual gift.

Another way in which The Paris served its customers better than the other stores was that the staff kept a customer card on all its frequent shoppers about our sizes, preferences, previous purchases etc. Additionally, The Paris would let you take something ‘on approval’ to see if it truly matched another article of clothing, or just to allow the buyer time to determine if they really wanted it. The Paris knew that once we got something home, we rarely returned it.

The services The Paris provides has a very high perceived value to its customers. Yet it costs them very little.

I encourage you to look for something similar. What can you do that might
take a heavy burden off your clients and shift that burden to
you? Hopefully, you could do things with your existing capacity and staff.

Ask yourself, “What can I do that will be so attractive to my clients that
they will hire me every time and not even think about hiring another mediator?”

These new ways you add value to your services become additional competitive
advantages, which you can emphasize in your marketing message and ultimately have more of the type of client you really want.

If you have any questions about what your competitive edge is or could be, drop me line and I’ll give you a free one-hour consultation to refine your edge.

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