Although there’s plenty of solid marketing advice available on how to build, increase, and sustain profitability, business owners continue to struggle with one question, “Why should I do business with you?” It can be a difficult question to answer for some because no marketing guru can answer it better than you can. If you know your business and have a clear vision, then you must also know your why.
What Value Do You Bring?
As the company leader, the onus is on you to be able to show the value you bring to customers. Understanding that customers have choices, are you prepared to deliver a clear, concise answer as to why customers should choose you over competitors? Are your employees clear on that value proposition as well? If this hasn’t been articulated as part of your company culture and integrated into your brand mission, then I predict if you were to pose this “why” to staff, most would struggle to answer.
Following are generalized responses:
We have great people and products
We service what we sell
We’re the best at what we do
We’ve been in business for decades
We employ experienced and trained experts
We care about customers
The answers seem obvious because they are. What company doesn’t claim to have experience and care about customers? However, nothing about the responses sets the tone for the brand. Dig deeper until you can confidently answer the why. The answer sets the foundation for your company’s culture and represents all that you project to your customers. As the owner, you effectuate the vision for your entire company. Knowing and sharing the “thing” that sets you apart from the competition, will define your value proposition.
Start by answering these key questions:
Why did you start the company?
What were your goals and have you met them?
Does what you do make a difference in people’s lives?
How does your company make a difference for the customer?
I’ve had numerous conversations about this with editorial advisors like Jim McDermott, Wade Mayfield, and a former columnist, Guy Kawasaki. Kawasaki explains it well in his speech, “The Art of the Start” in which he first lists well-known company brand missions. Then he whittles them down into abbreviated versions to illustrate how they translate into real-world value for customers.
*Below are a few of the best examples from the speech:
1. Wendy’s – “The mission of Wendy’s is to deliver superior quality products and services for our customers and communities through leadership, innovation, and partnerships.”
Guy’s version – “Healthy fast food.”
2. FedEx – “When it absolutely, positively, has to be there overnight.”
Guy’s version – “Peace of mind.”
3. Nike – “Just do it.”
Guy’s version – “Authentic athletic performance.”
Your Value Propositions are Defined. Now What?
After answering the question of why a customer should choose you, what’s the next step? Engage your employees. Get them involved. An interesting thing happens when employees grasp the true meaning of the company. They begin to understand their role. When employees have pride in their work, it shows. Then, when customers ask why they should do business with your company, brilliant soliloquies will flow effortlessly.
Helping Contractors Master Critical Business Techniques
As the owner of this company, I hope this article has added value for you and starts you thinking about the clearly defined communication development strategy necessary around this simple, yet important question, why should a customer do business with you?
At HVACR Business the answer resides in our own mantra: Our mission is to help contractors master critical business techniques for success. If I’ve added any mastery techniques for you, or if you see the value in this service, please take the opportunity to renew your subscription here:
We appreciate your continued support and business. Lastly, we promise to disseminate information that allows you, the HVACR business owner, mastery over critical business techniques. Or as Kawasaki might say… the HVACR roadmap to success.
*Note:Here is a link to an updated version of Guy Kawasaki’s speech https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8EVD739BxQ A worthy listen for any competitive business owner interested in getting better. The “mantra” portion starts around the 10-minute mark.
Terry Tanker is the owner of JFT Properties LLC and publisher of HVACR Business magazine. He has more than 25 years of experience in the advertising and publishing industries. He began his career with a business-to-business advertising agency. Prior to forming JFT Properties LLC in January 2006 he spent 20 years with a large national publishing and media firm where he was the publisher of several titles in the mechanical systems marketplace. In addition to his experience in advertising and publishing Terry has worked closely with numerous industry-related associations over the years including AHRI NATE and ABMA.