See all those customers buying from your competitors? Do you want them to buy from you instead? If you answered “yes” to the previous question, then you’re ready to grow your business, but first, you need a strategy to steal customers from your competitors.
Unfortunately, convincing people to change their behaviors, especially when those behaviors have already turned into habits, can be very difficult. Most humans are creatures of habit, and it’s hard to get us to change our ways once we’re comfortable with them. Simply promising that your products or services are better than your competitors’ products or services won’t be enough to motivate most of your competitors’ customers to buy from you instead.
The problem for you is making your competitors’ customers understand the problems that they have. You see, most of them don’t realize they have a problem at all. They’re comfortable with the status quo and are unmotivated to rock the boat. You need to rock the boat for consumers so they feel compelled to act.
1. Focus on Low Hanging Fruit (with Caution)
What are the quick, easy opportunities that you can pursue to build your market share? Stealing competitors doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing endeavor. Look for ways to attract small segments of consumers with specific offers, ads, and messaging.
These low hanging fruit opportunities should be fairly inexpensive and easy to implement, but don’t let them take over! Letting your desire to chase low hanging fruit to overtake your business and marketing plans can do more harm than good. It’s called mission creep. In other words, don’t lose sight of your mission and business goals to chase low hanging fruit that is cheap and easy to get but doesn’t match your overall strategy for business growth.
When in doubt, think about your business’ mission, and then evaluate whether or not the low hanging fruit supports that mission or distracts you from it. Focusing on distractions might help you in the short-term, but they could destroy your business in the long-term. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen to some business owners who had so much potential but couldn’t get out of their own way or stay focused on the mission. It’s very sad to watch.
2. Find Your Niche and Own It
The strongest brands own a word in consumers’ minds. What word do you own in consumers’ minds? If you don’t own one yet, what word could you own? That’s your niche, so exploit it. A niche is hyper-focused, so think about how your business can be even slightly better than your competitors in a very specific way.
Once you know what your niche is, invest in marketing tactics that ensure consumers know that niche and why it matters to them. Ideally, that niche solves a problem they didn’t even know they had with their current brand.
3. Be Agile
Are your biggest competitors big companies with deep pockets and teams of sales and marketing people? Don’t worry. Know what your business has that they don’t have? Agility. Big companies can’t react to market opportunities or threats quickly. They’re weighed down in a quagmire of bureaucracy, meetings, and procedures. They can’t make decisions quickly nor can they implement those decisions quickly.
Guess what that means for you? Opportunity! Use your flexibility and your ability to react quickly, and start seizing those opportunities whenever possible. There is a reason why so many startup companies are turning into multi-billion dollar empires. They had a great idea, product, or service that solved people’s problems (even problems people didn’t know they had), and they could bring those ideas, products, or services to market (and tweak them as needed) quickly. Why? One reason is certainly because they were far more agile than their larger competitors.
4. Build Your Proof
A good product or service and brand trust are essential to building any business, and they’re critical if you want to steal customers from your competitors. Few people will be willing to try a new product or service if they don’t have some reason to trust that the new brand will meet or exceed their expectations. But you can’t just say you’re better than your competitors. You have to prove it.
How do you prove it in 2017? Content and social media! Join the online conversation and engage with people. Publish useful, meaningful, and shareworthy content that people actually want to read or watch. The more useful content and conversations you publish, the more opportunities there are for consumers to see that you know what you’re talking about and you can be trusted. It’s a marketer’s dream come true, and today, any business can do it!
Keep in mind, building your proof and getting consumers to trust your brand is important for business-to-consumer and business-to-business companies. While it might seem like only a consumer products brand would do well with social media and content marketing, that’s not the reality. Today, 84% of B2B buyers start the purchase process with a referral and 90% of all B2B buying decisions are influenced by peer recommendations.
5. Know Your Numbers
Most marketing and sales tools provide data to help you track your investments. Whether you’re using Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, email marketing, SEO, landing pages, webinars, direct mail, or any other marketing tactic, there is a way to track results. And guess what? If you’re not tracking those results already, you need to start now. Your numbers will tell you which investments are working and which aren’t. You’ll know when to make changes and when to trash a campaign entirely.
There is no reason to operate blindly today. However, it’s equally important to avoid information paralysis. Today, you can get so much data that the overload of numbers can actually slow you down. In fact, the overwhelm of numbers can cause you to miss opportunities, so be careful not to lose your willingness to take intelligent risks in business.
Now, It’s Time to Steal Some Customers!
With these tips in mind, don’t rush to steal customers from your competitors and expect to see big results instantly. Remember, human beings are creatures of habit. You might not be able to convince a lot of them to change their current behaviors and buy from you immediately. Be prepared to take small steps and steal chunks of customers from your competitors over time. Eventually, those chunks add up, and one day, you just might be the market leader!