If I was a potential client who came across your company online or through social media, what would make me want to buy from you as opposed to someone who offers the same thing?

 

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That’s a question that many won’t ask themselves, especially if they’re super confident about their product or service. But trust when I say customers aren’t always as loyal as people assume. They shop in their own best interest, not because of some flashy marketing. They don’t care about your message. They care about what buying from you will do to their wallet. And if they can get the same thing but cheaper, they’ll more times than not opt for the cheaper product. But that really depends on WHO your market really is. So what do you do about it?

Because we live in a “me too” society and so many competing brands (hello, jeans anyone?), it’s important to differentiate out the gate. It’s not enough to differentiate strategically, you also have to differentiate in action. The beauty (and curse) of the web and social media is that anyone can sell or offer anything. That opens the door to close scrutiny by competition and customers alike, although from different perspectives. The reality is tastes and preferences change on a whim. That gives you an opportunity to do an audit and do some things differently to ensure they will buy from you over the competition.

When I was launching Mogul Chix, I stressed myself out trying to ensure that I was giving my target market something different. I didn’t want it to be like the accelerators out there. I drove people crazy with the continued testing and questioning. At one point, a very good friend of mine said “Enough! Just get the damn thing launched already!”. I can laugh about it now, but trying to differentiate almost drove me insane. Nobody wants to be lost in a sea of similarity. That makes you mediocre at best, forgotten at worst if you can’t stand out.

I’ll share with you some of the things I did that worked for me in all of my companies, not just Mogul Chix.

My 3 Tips:

  • I got real specific about my real target market. Nothing hurts worse than losing time on people who weren’t going to convert no matter what. I figured out who my real clients were based on their real needs and whether I was the one who can help them. I got in front of them with my message that spoke specifically to their needs (not a mass “can you relate?” generalization) and addressed how I have resolved those exact needs for similar clients. I rejected “advertising” focused messaging. I don’t cast a wide net for clients. I approach them directly and speak to their needs after researching specific potential clients. It may be a little longer in the closing process, but it cuts the time wasted chasing or entertaining people who likely won’t become a client anyway. And more times than not, I close the deal. Speak to their needs and establish that connection.

  • I focused on the customer experience. It’s not enough to get the sale or provide a service. I made the conscious decision to follow the Ritz Carlton lead. If you attended the Weekend Intensive, you’ll know what that is. I customize each client’s experience adding an element of personalization in there. Clients appreciate that. I ask questions, get to know what they need. I observe them and learn from them. They show me how to work with them and I go that extra layer deeper to give them more than they expect. And I make sure the little “extras” are taken care of. Clients want you to do what you’re paid to do, but it says something when you remember milestones, show them you appreciate them and give them more than what they expected.

  • When Industry peers go left, I go right. If you’ve listened to my shows, I don’t just talk about what everyone else is talking about, like in the news cycles. Instead, I focus on what’s not being said. With clients, I look at what they need, what’s not being addressed or solved for them, and what I can do to fill the holes. For instance, with recruiting, everyone’s rushing to fill positions. All recruiting companies want to be the agency of choice. The problem is, they end up being one of a stable of agencies. Instead, I look at how the client’s recruiting team, department, and process are set up. I focus on the internals to make sure they have a strong core and better brand before filling one position. If the system is broken, it makes no sense to try to fill jobs that probably are ill thought out to begin with. That wins me more trust from the client & I get a three for one most times: consulting project, ownership of the (important) job openings with a long-term relationship, and a training project in which I get to train their staff for better performance to become less reliant on agencies. Win-win for both.

If you want to thrive in business, you must constantly re-examine your company and be prepared to make shifts as needed. Pay attention to your clients, the market and industry for clues that it’s time for a change. Or better yet, stay ahead of these signals and always look to challenge yourself. As Mark Cuban says “wake up in the morning thinking of ways you can kick your own ass“.

Til next time,
Adrienne Graham
Founder, Mogul Chix, LLC

 

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Adrienne Graham is the Founder of Mogul Chix, LLC (www.mogulchix.com), a global company and community for female founders and women entrepreneurs. She works with female-founded companies to grow, scale & making them investment ready. She is CEO of Empower Me! Corporation, a growth strategies consultancy for high growth companies. She provides Strategic Business Growth advisory services to companies with high growth potential to assist clients in creating processes and strategies to effectively scale, run, grow and position their business for success. Adrienne is an author, serial entrepreneur and avid techie dedicated to promoting inclusive diversity in the tech, VC and startup community. She is steadily building her empire one company at a time. She is also a Mentor for the Straight Shot Accelerator in Omaha, NE, which helps guide startups into successfully launched ventures.

 

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