In a crowded marketplace, bringing customers in can be easier said than done. If you're just one of many other businesses all offering a similar service, you need to be able to show potential clients that you're worthy of their time and money. Potential customers are not all exactly alike, but they all tend to have at least one of these things in common:

  • They're looking for a good deal
  • They want reassurance that they're making a good investment
  • They have specific needs to be fulfilled

With that in mind – how do you set yourself apart from the competitors?

Customer Service: This is probably the most important thing you can do. If your product or service doesn't have anything that can really differentiate it from a competitor – you need to be able to wow your customers by giving them 110%. A happy customer may or may not give you a reference, but an unhappy customer is almost certain to tell someone else about their poor experience with you – and in the age of the Internet with a myriad of review sites like Yelp, you're only a bad review away from turning a potential customer off.


Free Promotional Items: This is a tried-and-true strategy for getting attention. If you offer hats, custom printed mugs or any other small item that your customers can readily wear or use, that's just one more way of getting attention. Everyone likes to get something for free – it works as a great incentive for getting them to try what you offer in return.


Engage With Your Customers: Don't treat them impersonally. Go the extra mile to treat them like people and not just another customer. For example, if you offer a service such as carpet cleaning – follow up with each and every customer personally to see if they have any questions or comments about their service.


Offer More For The Same Price: If the competitor offers X and Y but doesn't offer Z – you should be the one that offers it. A savvy customer shopping around for the best product or service is going to take that into account. For instance, if you're an oil change shop and your competitors offer a standard oil change service (new oil filter, replace the old oil) but don't do anything else like vacuuming the interior of each vehicle or wiping down the windows – why not offer that to your customers as part of the standard package? It may cost you a bit more in overhead to offer it, but if you gain more customers by doing so, that can offset the costs in the long run.


Understand Your Customers: It's not enough to just offer a product or service – you also need to understand who your customer base is. Cater to their specific needs and wants rather than trying to be all things to all people. Not everyone will need or want your product – but there is a market for it if you know how to approach those customers correctly.

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Sara Fletcher is a professional blogger who writes on a variety of topics, ranging from business, SEO, and social media. She loves to learn about small business tips, and is always looking for the next writing opportunity.

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