Mike Michalowicz has some tips for the small business owner who spends much of the day racking his brains on how best to compete in a crowded market. In a nutshell, bestselling author and top business speaker wants you to know that just being better isn’t better. Different is better. You need to look for ways to stand out and set your business against the competition, instead of just striving to beat them.
Michalowicz, who voiced this advice during an episode of the Total technical peak/ VIP Peer to Peer webinar series that focuses on making yourself stand out gives you the best chance to outperform the competition. Customers will find competition if you are unnoticeable. If this competitor provides an inferior product or service, it is your fault.
“Many business owners are frustrated because they feel invisible in a crowded market. They know they are better than their competition, but when they focus on that fact, they get little in return, ”he said during the webcast’s introduction. “It’s because, for customers, better isn’t really better. Different is better. And those who market differently win.
Michalowicz stressed that companies need to market differently to educate customers. “If our service or product offering is better, we have a responsibility to let customers know so that we can be of use to them. But if they don’t even notice us in the first place, that’s the ultimate sin. “
Client referrals can be the lifeblood of a small business – many of which forgo marketing spend due to a strong referral pipeline – but here, too, Michalowicz is being cautious. Think of references as “the icing on the cake; it is surely not the cake.
“If you get referrals from clients, you should be proud. But there is a risk here. If we depend on customers to recommend business to us, that means we are at the mercy of our customers who market us. And the day they decide to quit, or they start working with someone else or they just don’t want to do it anymore, we’re not going to have a flow of leads, ”he said. . “This is how vehement I am that if your service is better you have to step up and market. The world is hungry to find you.
Michalowicz focused his presentation on a marketing framework presented in his latest book, “Get Different”. Based on the acronym DAD, the concept asks small business owners to ask three essential questions about their marketing: differentiate? Is to attract? Is direct?
“If these three elements are missed in part or in whole, marketing is at best now crippled or will fail altogether,” he said.
Here’s an abbreviated look at each of these pieces, as explained during the webinar.
Step 1: Differentiate
This first step of the framework is to identify a marketing approach that stands out from the din of the same well-worn promotional tactics employed by other companies. Michalowicz invokes a bit of neuroscience to illustrate why the need to stand out from the pack is so vital.
At the base of the human brainstem is the reticular formation. Its main function is to ignore or ignore most stimuli as a means of managing productivity and maintaining focus. These nerve pathways are essential for governing our response to threats and opportunities, as well as for evaluating stimuli that may require action or simply be ignored.
Think of marketing as a form of stimulation. If you use the same marketing practices as your competition, chances are the audience will get used to your message and therefore ignore it altogether. Here, Michalowicz cites the example of how customers filter spam or e-mail, sorting and deciding in milliseconds if something interests them or offers them some value.
The mission of differentiation doesn’t have to mean a massive marketing overhaul, suggests Michalowicz. Rather, it can be more nuanced and start with small branding changes to logos, messaging in online and print ads, videos, etc.
2nd step: To attract
Of course, you have to differentiate yourself to get noticed. But it can present a vexatious challenge for businesses.
“Different alone is not enough. I could have dressed like a clown today in big soft shoes, with the daisy squirted on my lapel, ”Michalowicz said. “It can differentiate, I can get noticed, but it might not succeed – and it probably wouldn’t – the second test, which is to attract.”
Here, Michalowicz emphasizes that your marketing should be aimed at the audience and community you are targeting. He must engage the prospect. “So, for example, I’m dressing like a clown for this webinar, you’ll notice, but I only get your attention for about a blink of an eye. If I’m disguised as a clown, not only may that not attract you, but it may also repel you.
To break the marketing habit – and be seen as an opportunity, not a threat the prospect will instinctively avoid – you need to talk about the audience’s needs and issues, Michalowicz described. “So the question is, who is your audience and then how do you present them in a way that they have never been presented before is different?” and attractive? “
Step 3: Direct
Completing the first two steps of the DAD framework will get the prospect’s attention and engagement, but to close the deal you’ll need to demonstrate a clear message about the call to action you want them to issue.
“Direct is where you force the audience to take specific, explicit direction to do something. Small businesses need to get noticed. We have to engage and then we have to get the public to take the lead, ”said Michalowicz.
To do this, offer something specific and reasonable, with the aim of arriving at the ultimate transaction to engage your services. How many steps do you need to get there? The fewer steps, as long as they are reasonable, the better.
“The biggest mistake I see is this harmless [approach], ‘Whenever you’re ready’ type of thing. The biggest mistake I see on websites is the “find out more” call to action. The reason I visited your website in the first place was to learn more. Don’t make me learn more about learning more, ”chuckled Michalowicz. “Tell me what you want me to do. “
Maybe making a deposit isn’t an appropriate call to action, he suggested. Maybe instead it should be “call for this consultation”.
“Maybe it’s ‘download our 10 buyer’s tips’ and I’ll give you my email address. But give me specific, explicit and reasonable action to take, ”he advised. “The client feels secure and moves the relationship as quickly as possible for the ultimate transaction you desire.”
This article originally appeared on our sister publication Sales and security integrationthe website of.