Thursday, June 1, 2017

"No Matter How Similar Our Businesses Are, We All Have Something Unique To Offer"

As aging in place contractors, designers, consultants, and professionals, we have many similarities among ourselves in the way we approach working with our clients and in the solutions we propose and implement. However, as similar as we might be in the large or overall sense, we all have something very special and unique to offer - something that separates and differentiates us from the pack. 

Even identical twins have differences - in personalities, in world views, and in other characteristics. As similar as two people or businesses - or homes - might seem, we know that there are some distinguishing qualities. Two identical floor plans on the same street built at essentially the same time by the same builder can still exhibit differences - in upgrades selected when they were built, changes and furnishings added by the owners after occupancy, the way the homes have been lived in and maintained, the way they are decorated, and the number of people occupying them.

So as similar as two relatively closely aligned products or individuals might seem, there still are recognizable, if subtle, differences between them. Such is the case with our businesses. Our challenge is to determines what sets us apart from similar businesses and then to accentuate that in our marketing so that consumers and referring professionals can appreciate that we offer a different level of service than other similar businesses.

What we're talking about here is a USP or unique selling proposition. What makes us different or unique in our marketplace - in a word, better - than similar service providers, When someone wants to work with the most experienced company, the one with the most knowledge, and the one that will deliver the most appropriate solution for them - namely us - how do they know that we are the one to choose?

We have to do a good job of (1) defining what makes us different or special among all of the similar companies in out market are, and (2) conveying this through various marketing opportunities to the consuming public.

When someone decides to select a contracting for remodeling, or to engage a designer, decorator, or someone such as an OT for a home assessment and evaluation, how are they going to know who to pick? If there are several people or companies with essentially the same credentials and skills, the one they should choose to help them would be the one that presents themselves as being the strongest in skills, abilities, reputation, and results - unless going with the least expensive provider is the driving factor in making a decision.

Putting price aside, and assuming that the basic skill set is roughly the same for the various aging in place professionals in a given marketplace, the one that create the impression that the consumer would be doing themselves a disservice by using any other company is the one that should earn the business. This is one of the chief objectives of marketing - conveying the main reason that someone should do business with a specific company (and in this case, we mean us).

Our marketing needs to help create a fear of loss in the consumer - that doing business with any other company that provides a similar but not exactly the same service or product in exactly the same manner - is not in their best interests. We are not diminishing the abilities of the competition. We are elevating ourselves and setting ourselves apart from the rest as the best one to help them.

We must show people that even though there are other companies, consultants, and individuals who are qualified to help them with their aging in place renovation or assessment needs, that we are just a little bit better than the rest and should be the one selected. We do have something different and unique to offer them - we must determine what that is and then build upon it.

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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.