There are many ways to drive profit. One way is to be the low-cost provider, or be the most efficient company in your marketplace. However, the most lucrative way to drive profits is through customer preference.
When your customers prefer you to the competition, their willingness to pay you a premium, relative to the competition, increases. The more customers prefer you, the more profit you can make.
What drives customer preference?
If you look at most companies’ sales and marketing efforts, you might think that customer preference is driven by claims of being the best, the fastest, the newest, the highest performing or the cheapest.
Sure, those things count. But they aren’t the biggest drivers of preference.
Each of those factors describes the product or service being offered. The most powerful beliefs customers have that influence their preference are not about products or services, but about the impact those products or services have on them. A customer won’t prefer you just because you are the fastest, newest, or highest performing, but because of what those features do for them.
Why personalisation is a key driver of profitability
Customer preference happens when a customer thinks, “I am better off with this product (or service) than with any other.” Every customer has the permission to create their own personal reasons for why a product or service benefits them. For every 1000 customers who believe they benefit from a feature of your product or service, there are 1000 descriptions of what that benefit is.
This means that creating strong customer preference is not just about effective marketing and sales messaging that describes your offerings, but is about framing your offerings in a way that is personally relevant to each customer.
If you are a mass marketer, this is really difficult, because you are stuck saying the same thing to thousands of customers. But most people reading this article are not mass marketers. You have the ability to personalise your message for each customer, as you determine what personally relevant impact your product and service offerings can have for them.
Preference happens one customer at a time
Not only do I encourage you to recognise customer preference as the key driver of your profits, I encourage you to focus your sales and marketing efforts on personalising your messages. Describe the impact of your offerings in ways that are personally relevant to each of your customers. Most of you have enough one-on-one contact to make that happen.
If you commit your best and highest sales and marketing efforts to customising your messages in ways that are personally relevant to individual customers, you will increase customer preference and markedly increase your profits.
Preference and profitability. They go very well together.
Steve Yastrow: Author, speaker, consultant and founder of Yastrow & Company, a Chicago-based consulting firm.
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