“Uncover Your Advantages”
and “Create your Master Story”
Have you ever heard the expression “It’s hard to read the label when you’re inside the bottle”? This is a challenge that almost every business owner must overcome. You know you’re better than your competition…So why doesn’t everyone else see it? It’s a matter of perspective. More info on the importance of “Uncovery” here….
“Uncovery” & “Writing your Master Story” $2,995*
This is a comprehensive investigation and analysis of your business, all from a marketing perspective. Our goal is to:
- Determine what are your distinct advantages in your market place
- Capture those advantages in writing, in a way that is:
- Different from what everyone else is saying
- Put those advantages into several “easy-to-use” and “easy-to-digest” formats, including:
- An “About Us” page on your website
- A list of “10 Reasons Why People Should Buy from (You)”
- An “elevator pitch“
- An on-hold recording
- Text content for a company brochure
- Abbreviated content for the back of your business card
As indicated above, the content of your new “master story” should be infused into all aspects of your marketing. Basically anywhere and everywhere that the buying public comes into contact with your business, they should hear your “master story.”
This process invariably includes a day-long visit to your place of business. We will interview you. We’ll tour your facilities inside and out, we’ll go visit several of your jobs - some that are complete, and some that are still a work in progress. If you do commercial work, we’ll look at those too.
We’ll also collect any “evidence” you have that will support your new story. Awards. Certificates. Photographs. Testimonials. Procedural information (if it makes you sound better than the next guy). And anything else that will help us substantiate your superior value in the marketplace.
We will talk to your people also. Find out what they have to say about your company, and why they think it’s so great to work there. We will also talk to some of your past clients, and find out why they think you’re so special. And if you have the names of people that met with you but bought from someone else, we will interview them too. (It’s amazing what people will tell “an innocent third party marketing company” when they aren’t afraid of hurting your feelings.)
Then we’ll put all the evidence together into a comprehensive story that will be every bit as interesting as we can possibly make it.
The entire process takes about 30 days.
* The $2995 is for U.S. locations only, and does not include travel expenses. Outside of the US, the charge is $3,995 (plus travel expenses) due to the additional travel time.
Determining why people should buy from you…
Let me take a couple of minutes here to explain how you can come up with a clear & consistent message that means something to your prospects. This may be something of a challenge for me, because most business owners I work with share this one consistent trait: They are fervently and adamantly passionate that they’re better than their competition. They’ll tell me:
“No one else has our (experience) / (capability) / (dedication) / (track record) / (passion for excellence) / (quality of people) / (longevity in the marketplace) / (fill in your favorite cliche’ here).”
That’s all fine and dandy, except for one problem – You sound just like everybody else.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying it isn’t true. I’m just saying that your competition is saying the same thing. It’s just like the mechanic who tells you he’s honest. Is there a rule somewhere that prevents the dishonest mechanics from telling you the same thing? No, because dishonest people don’t follow those rules.
So how does “John Smith” (your prospective customer) separate the honest pool builders from the dishonest ones? Two simple steps. First, he looks for evidence beyond the cliche’s and platitudes for either a reason to trust you or a reason to not trust you. (Yes, finding a reason to not trust you is good for him, because it helps him shorten his list of builders to choose from.)
In the absence of clarifying evidence, he defaults to the second method, which is “make a wild-ass guess and hope it’s not a mistake.” That, of course, is the crime that annoys the rest of us. It’s frustrating when a prospect hires a competitor that you and I both know won’t do near a good a job as you would.
So how do we prevent this? First, let’s recognize this undeniable challenge that all business owners must overcome: You’re almost certainly too close and too emotionally attached to your business to get a good honest “John Smith” perspective on your own business.
I think the marketing expert Roy Williams describes this challenge most eloquently when he says: “It’s hard to read the label when you’re inside the bottle.”
Maybe I secretly enjoy that expression most because it emphasizes the advantage of hiring an outside consultant like me. But don’t worry, I think it’s possible for a business owner to “do-it-yourself” too. Here are some suggested steps you might take to help you define your true advantages to the marketplace, while getting rid of all the platitudes:
1) First, let’s presume your brother-in-law has decided to get a pool. But he lives in different state, so you can’t build the pool for him. And you don’t know any builders over there, so you’ve got to teach him how to choose the right builder in his city.
2) Now let’s make a list of all the things he should look for. Would you tell him to look for someone with “passion” and “dedication” and “expertise”? Or would you more likely tell him to look for a pool builder who:
- Has been in business more than 10 years.
- Has never declared bankruptcy, or changed their name.
- Has won multiple design and/or craftsmanship awards.
- Is a member of APSP, the BBB, the local Chamber and/or some other industry organization(s).
- Is a Certified Building Professional.
- Will give him at least 50 references to call (instead of just 4 or 5).
3) If your brother-in-law wants to know why these things are important, then explain it to him. What’s the significance of 10 years? What is APSP? Why does it matter? Tell him what he really needs to know to make a good decision.
Now that you’ve determined what’s really important to the shopper, you’ve set the stage to document your own advantages. Instead of bragging about “passion” and “dedication” and “honesty,” you can tell your marketplace what they really want and need to know. Tell them what you told your brother-in-law. Give them good, honest, helpful advice that’s free of platitudes and cliche’s.
Won’t that be a refreshing change?
After this, the next step is to collect the evidence that proves and supports your claims. Then say it and explain it all in a way that is interesting, compelling, sincere and honest. (Which is a whole ‘nuther challenge, which we’ll have to talk about in ANOTHER post, such as this one HERE, if you’re really interested….)Email This Page