Who is Your Real Competition: It’s Not Who You Think
by David Lupberger
We spend a lot of time thinking about the competition. We want to know who they are and what are they doing. We want to review pricing for our products and services, and we want to know how we “stack-up.” We don’t want to lose business to these folks. There is a point here that begs to be addressed. I want to make a point that in most cases, our competition is not who we think. Our competition is not the contractor down the street.
Simply stated, our biggest competitor is Time!
The Harvard Business School refers to a phenomenon in small business called “resource poverty”. Simply speaking, small business owners wear dozens of hats, and most have limited time and resources. Because of dozens of daily demands, time is the most valuable and limited resource you have. Due to the limited amount of time you have available, you must focus on high-impact activities, which are actions that have a positive impact on your business.
The Benefits of a Strong Presentation Package
When you think about how to compete effectively, think about how you are presenting yourself and your company. How you present yourself is a high-impact activity. When consumers first meet you, what are the initial impressions they receive? A good presentation package addresses homeowners concerns quickly and efficiently. In this all-important first meeting, you must quickly demonstrate your competence in a way that sets you apart.
There are several key elements that should be in a good presentation folder:
- Company Bio or Brochure
- Completed Pictures
Let’s review each of these. When putting together a good company brochure, provide potential customers with meaningful specifics instead of vague generalities. Make sure your brochure is personalized and targeted straight to your customer. Sell yourself to the customer by telling them what’s in it for them. The more specific you can be the better. Focus on what your business does for your customer, not what it “is”
Here are some questions to assist you in this process:
– Do you do certain kinds of projects?
– Is your ability or the ability of your staff unique in some way?
– What makes your company different from your competitors
– Are there other distinctive characteristics of your business?
Add to this company review by letting potential customers know what your expertise is. Are there specific skills you and your company possess? What sets you apart from your competition? For example, if you do custom kitchen work, can you assist homeowners with:
- Computer Aided Design
- A Custom Kitchen and Bath focus
- Company craftspeople with over 20 years experience
Let potential customers know why they should work with you. You can help share your expertise by posting pictures of your best work. You know the saying: “a picture is worth a 1,000 words.” Pictures of your best work let consumers become more familiar with you and your company. “Before and after” pictures can be fantastic, as are pictures of completed projects. This can become important links to your customer’s response triggers.
The last parts of a good presentation package are references and testimonials. “Real” comments by past customers ring true with prospects. References will give potential customers peace of mind that demonstrates that you make your clients happy by doing great work. Turn your best customers into your best salespeople by getting them to speak your praises in testimonials. Your best customers are happy to do this. You just have to ask.
Your primary competition is not another contractor. It’s time. To present yourself in the best manner possible, you must find the time to put together this type of presentation package. You may also include copies of unique company forms and checklists. All of these things will help demonstrate your professionalism. Spend the time to do this properly, and you will see the pay-off. Profitable jobs just don’t happen. They happen because homeowners see that you are prepared for them. With a good presentation package, homeowners will assume (and correctly so) that if you are this organized on paper, that it must be a reflection of how you run your business.