Woman standing at counter in restaurant smiling

How can you get customers to choose you over your competition? In today’s economy this is a really important question. You must find and/or communicate what makes your business the one to choose.

The size of most markets has shrunk so in order to maintain or grow your sales volume you’ll need to increase market share. The only way to do that is to acquire more of your competitors customers while retaining your own.

So how do we go about this? The first step is to make a list of your top three to five competitors. Once you have them listed, ask yourself the following questions about each of them:

  • What do their products or services do well or claim to do well?
  • What sorts of products or services do they offer that you don’t?
  • Where do their products or services fall short?

Take the time to think or research this out. The information here will be invaluable in your own marketing plan. Next, ask yourself the same three questions:

  • What do your products or services do well or claim to do well?
  • What sorts of products or services do you offer that they don’t?
  • Where do your products or services fall short?

Now that you’ve made a comparison of yourself to your competition, I want you to list out at least five ways that you are different from your competition. I know this is the hard part, but it will be the core of your marketing plan to get more customers … so just do it!

With this information in hand you need to rough out a one paragraph narrative about your business and why potential customers should choose you. Don’t write it referring to your competition and trying to show why you are better than them. Rather, write the narrative like this:

  • Explain who your are, your products or services,
  • tell them the benefits you will provide them,
  • and, show them why your business is the special or unique provider of those benefits.

In my next post we’ll look at how to use this information to create an “elevator pitch” that you will use in your marketing to get customers to choose you.


by Steven Schlagel