4 Tips to Win Clients from Your Competitors
Why is it so hard to sway clients away from your competitors?
Well, the short answer is switching costs. But when we hear that term, we often only think about the physical or tactical aspects of change—it often leaves out the mental and emotional elements of the switching costs.
Once a client has an established relationship with a provider, it’s set up. The exchange of access, details, invoicing, and contacts are already in place. The client and vendor can just do the work. In order for this prospective client to switch over to doing business with you, we need to engage with them on shifting their mindset, so they are willing to do the perceived and actual extra work to switch and become your client. We need to get in their head.
These prospective clients may have a perception of you, or they may have never heard of you. Either way, this narrative is going to directly influence the likelihood of them switching. You are able to assert some level of control over their perceptions by having tight and clear messaging and neutralizing obstacles to make it easy to do business with you. Here are four tips to help you stand out and win:
1- It's Simple. The Competition Really Isn’t as Good as they Claimed.
The key to this one is that it is the client’s perception of this, not yours. Of course, you think you are a better provider. The key is to identify if the client thinks or feels like your competition is dropping the ball or not delivering on what they promised.
This is also considered the best defense is having a good offense. In 1799, George Washington wrote that "offensive operations, often times, [are] the surest, if not the only (in some cases) means of defense." That approach has been applied to various competitive theaters, including business.
A way to identify this is through negative online reviews or feedback that you hear while networking. What are your competitors’ clients complaining about? Do you approach that service or need differently? If so, you have the advantage. A library of testimonials and client references can back you up.
This is also about messaging, positioning, and differentiating yourself from your competitors. How are you different that facilitates a sustainable competitive advantage?
2- Some Good ol' FOMO can Actually Help the Situation.
Fear of missing out. If you do truly offer a service or approach that is different from your competitors, then you can appear mysterious to their clients. They don’t know you, and what you offer is perceived as different or new. Now, in all honesty, this one can work against you just as much as it can work for you. So be careful how you approach this.
Make sure that your brand is positioned to solve their pain points instead of just a list of services. This can help them see a different future with different results when they work with you. And remember, keep these realistic. If you go too far, instead of inviting them in, you’ll trigger skepticism and reinforce that they should stay with your competitor.
3- Make Sure it is Easy to do Business with You.
Switching to a new provider can trigger anxiety. No one wants to be the person that introduced and pushed for a new and hirer-priced solution that didn’t work out for whatever reason.
Interview your existing clients to get the details about their decision-making process. Ask questions like what other solutions or providers did they consider, what were their biggest objections, and why did they ultimately choose you? As you identify the objections, you can be proactive about building reassurance into your marketing and sales to reduce anxiety or uncertainty and increase confidence in switching to your brand. You can do this in a “What to expect” process overview.
4- Ambivalent Habits Need to Change
Functioning from habits often makes life easier, temporarily. But ultimately, we need to challenge our habits, beliefs, and routines to get different results. If your prospective client has been working with your competitor for a while, there is a habitual element to this process that will need to be addressed. Some examples of this include personal relationships with vendors, a belief that management isn’t open to considering other options, or that if they just wait the situation will get better or the perfect solution will eventually come along.
Now, ideally, you’ll be able to convince them that you are true that ‘perfect’ solution. Remember, you don't need to play a competitor's game to win. You just need to change the conversation about what is important.
Ways to do that are to show you can get better results than your competitors, emphasizing their biggest values and motivators, and stay away from surface-level talking points like cost savings—because then it will just come down to who is cheaper. Weave in your conversation the emotions, feelings, or concerns that you know they have.
Omicle delivers brand clarity, marketing strategy, and operational efficiency to prepare leaders to scale their business. If you are ready to scale your business, contact us today to get started.
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