Marketing 101 – Part 3

In Step 2, we discussed the various ‘Jabs’ you need to incorporate in your communication to your prospects. When you approach the ‘Right Hook’ message, you need to communicate your ‘Unique Value Proposition.’ What makes you so special … or valuable to your potential clients. I have inherited some clients from other preparers whose value-add consisted of a fancy binder and an inflated price for the work they do.

My UVP focuses on year-round service. I meet with a number of my clients to help them with their year-end activity, and to help them plan for the tax session. Unfortunately, some clients do not take advantage of this service. However, those that do, recognize the value it brings to the relationship. I also offer a monitoring service that allows me to identify changes in their transcript in advance of the IRS notice. I just received a notice today informing me that my clients Currently-Not-Collectible status had been terminated. We have an appointment tomorrow to begin the process of mitigating his tax debt. The phone call from me was far less disruptive to his day than a notice from the IRS.

It is important that you set yourself apart from the competition without competing on price. The book Blue Ocean Shift discusses this element of differentiation.  According to one observer of the blue ocean approach, “In the Blue Ocean lexicon, the goal of Blue Ocean strategy is known as value innovation. When a company can substantially differentiate itself from competitors and do so at a lower cost, it has created something known in the Blue Ocean vernacular as value innovation.

The innovation has to generate market value that benefits both the company and the customer. It does this by eliminating or reducing services or products or features that are less valued in the market.” Note that the issue of cost is different than the issue of price. If you can provide more value at less cost, your margins become more attractive.

The bottom line is you need to identify (or create) a unique value proposition for your business and communicate it continuously, effectively and consistently.