Have you ever heard the expression ‘it’s a no brainer’? What about the old chestnut ‘low hanging fruit’? Or even, ‘the path of least resistance’? You may well have a great product or service. But, sadly, so do many of your competitors. You may believe that you have something special and can reel off a list of unique selling points (USP’s). However, do USP’s really exist when it comes to using them for lead generation?
Clients Believe Everything is Unique
If you’ve ever worked in a lead generation or other agency, and been briefed by clients, you may well have encountered one or all of the expressions above. Unfortunately, some brand owners either overestimate the attractiveness of their offering or they don’t fully understand their market, including the competitor set. Or, perhaps, they just don’t care.
Prospective clients aren’t stupid. Often, they simply aren’t interested in what you have to offer. Now, they may be wrong. It’s quite conceivable that what you provide is indeed the answer to their prayers. However, there are a multitude of reasons why customers don’t bite your hand off. Let’s look at some of these.
- Lack of understanding of wither their need or your offer
- Lack of time to make a change
- Lack of priority compared to other more pressing challenges
- Lacy of sufficient pain to drive action
- Poorly explained benefits
- Presence of incumbent providers
- Strength of competition
- Lack of differentiation of your offering versus what they use now
- Lack of budget for additional expenditure
- Complex decision making processes
- Fear of failure as it could affect their career
- Acceptable current solutions that may not measure up but they do the job
- Missing triggers to overcome inertia
- Just not interested
There are probably quite a few more reasons for lack of action. However, they are likely to be more or less within the above categories.
Clients don’t Care about your Targets
You see, whilst you and your senior management may have big targets to hit with your super-duper new product, customers just don’t care. Of course, if your prospect is experiencing significant challenges that cannot be resolved in other ways, you’re much more likely to achieve some traction. However, that presupposes that they have been made aware of what you do in the first place.
Awareness is key. Yet, that’s not as simple as it sounds. Visibility is expensive. Reaching potential customers is far from easy. It can be a costly exercise. Whether you advertise the hell out of your product or service, spend time and money on content marketing, nurture through marketing automation, pick up the phone or send an email, response rates inevitably vary.
It’s About the Long-Haul
Whatever form of lead generation you select, you usually need to be in it for the long haul. It isn’t a quick fix. Where the value of sale is significant, the difficulty, time and cost usually rises too. And, the requirement for a multi-channel integrated approach also increases. That is likely to enhance awareness, reach and penetration.
Regardless of how ‘unique’ your proposition is, you still need to locate your target audience. And, you need to position what you or your product does in the customers’ terms. In other words, it’s not what you do but what you do for the customer that counts.
Brand Strength is only Part of The Answer
The problem is that many organisations rely on brand or company strength. Perhaps correctly, they leverage brand credentials, past experience, and customer relationships and use these as a launch pad. However, that will only take you so far. At some point, new markets need to be opened. Prospects that are unaware, need to be made aware. Conversations need to take place.
Market triggers naturally play a role in adoption. The more there are factors that drive change, the more likely customers will be to sit up and take notice. Examples include changes in legislation, increased requirements for compliance. Current hot topics in 2022 include sustainability and Net Zero. These market drivers increase adoption of services and technology.
Uniqueness is Hard to Find
Ultimately, everyone has to sell. However, truly unique propositions are hard to find. If you’ve genuinely got one, that’s great. My advice is to promote heavily since competitors probably won’t be far behind. That will certainly be the case where market factors drive adoption as mentioned above.
If you have something that seems unique, but doesn’t overcome the inertia of current solutions that do a good enough job, you’ll need to work harder to find those prospects that are currently seeking new solutions and you’ll have a harder job to convince them to invest in change.
Competition isn’t Just Like-for-Like
If, like many, your services are relatively commonplace in the market, this is where you need to work hardest. What’s more, it will take longer and cost more. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. But, it does mean that you need to somehow differentiate and focus your efforts. That could be by positioning your solution , or your pitch, to specific vertical sectors. It could be adapting the product itself to solve an industry issue.
Unfortunately, it isn’t just about comparing A with B. Sometimes, inferior products and different approaches preclude adoption. So, your competition isn’t always traditional, on a like-for-like basis.
Whatever way you look at it, there is rarely such a thing as a no brainer even if it seems like that to you. Whichever lead generation approach you take, make sure that you do your utmost to find some way to differentiate what you do. It will save you time and money and increase the chance of success. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s easy. It’s never easy and it can be expensive. However, if the value of sale and ROI potential are present, it’s worth the effort.