Step 1 – What is it that I do?

March 9, 2010

This may seem an obvious question at first glance; ‘I am a grocer so I sell food and groceries’ or ‘I am a consultant and I sell professional services like business planning for clients’ and at a cursory level this is accurate. However, from a marketing and sales point of view these answers are inadequate. Maybe it’s the question? Let me put the question another way. Your customers and clients have a wide range of possible businesses from which to buy who are in competition to you. So, customers can get what they get from you from a number of other sources (monopolies and protected IP aside). So why do they keep coming back and buying from you?

I guess, if you are now asking yourself the last question, that you will come back with answers like, ‘we provide a good service’, ‘we always deliver on time’ or ‘people like doing business with me because I am friendly’. This is starting to get closer to the nub of the issue. So, people go looking for a good or service and have a range of possible suppliers who can meet their needs. However, they then make a final buying decision to buy from a particular supplier because of some other factors. It could be as simple as they get on personally with the business person and will not do business with anybody else or it could be that when they had a problem three years ago and when nobody else would help, you actually went out of your way to help them out and they will now not do business with anybody else.

So when asking the questions, ‘what is it that I do?’ ask yourself the question ‘what keeps your customers loyal?’ Now, this will be unique to every business (thus why it is called a unique selling point) and you may have 2-4 main reasons why your customers buy but you must analyse the final reason why your customers buy from you and see how you can sell these characteristics to more people.


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