Sunday, May 7, 2017

"Figuring Out Why People Should Want To Work With Us"

As we build our aging in place businesses and discover the products or services we want to be known for, we may also learn that other companies are similar in nature to us. Then we need to decide what separates or differentiates us from those other companies so that we can convey this difference to the marketplace.

If there are several businesses performing essentially the same services, the consumer could rightly choose any of them for a solution. We don't want to see this happen. We want a large portion of this business.

Therefore, we have to decide what makes us different - special, actually - and then let people know about this ability so that they can choose us over our competition.

We have to ask ourselves what makes us so special - professionally, that is, and in a market segmentation or customer appeal sense? Why should someone choose us over any other company that offers roughly the same types of services we do? If nothing comes to mind that really separates or distinguishes us from others, sets us apart, or differentiates us from our competition, or if we have to work real hard to come up with an answer this question, how do we expect our potential consumer to be able to do so?

Because there are a lot of companies and individuals offering remodeling, assessment, design, or consulting services for aging in place solutions - even if some of them are not as knowledgeable or skilled as we are in providing those services - our potential customer may not appreciate how we are different from the others.

Consumers want results - and so do the referring professionals that often send us to those people. They may select the lowest price or the quickest solution from someone who offers a solution reasonably close to what they think they want - or perhaps what they are convinced they need - without really understanding that we may offer a much more strategic approach to meeting their needs.

Even when there are other aging in place specialists competing with you for a particular customer's attention - as opposed to just general renovation or remodeling services, there still needs to be something that makes us different in the eyes of the consumer and within the marketplace. Otherwise, there is no overriding reason why someone should choose us over another company or provider. In essence, any company would be just as good as any other.

Since this isn't likely the case, how do we set ourselves apart from the crowd? Start by looking at our vision. Are you conveying your real purpose and passion to the marketplace? Do we have any special credentials other than our CAPS designation that helps to distinguish us from others in our marketplace? Is it the length of time we've been in business, the number of clients served, the number of successful solutions created, or our history that makes us special and sets us apart from others in our market that offer similar services?

Whatever it is that truly makes us so special when compared to others who offer similar services, determine what it is and then begin conveying this message to the marketplace through our marketing message, branding, taglines, website, social media profiles, and our presentations. Don't rely on our clients or customers to try to figure out why we are special. Help them see that we are.

Also, don't rely on words or phrases that our competition can also use. We may know what we mean when we say that we create value or provide quality work, but virtually anyone else can say the same thing. Such claims do not offer the separation we are looking for when compared with our competition. Look for a truly special way of expressing just what makes us special and makes our potential customer want to select us for that reason. Then go all out to spread this message. 
  
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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist-Master Instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555. Also check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.