Why are you a better choice than your competition? Here’s a simple way to find out.

Last month I wrote about creating a “Buying Guide” to help distinguish your business and eliminate your competition. Along with a lot of positive feedback about this idea, I received a common question. Many wanted to know what you should include in your buying guide to make yourself stand out.

One of the best ways is to determine what makes you stand out is by simply asking your clients, customers, or patients what they like most about your company, product or service. If their answer doesn’t directly point to an obvious advantage, more often than not their answers give strong clues for you to draw on. For example, let’s say you are a dentist. Your patients tell you that they always feel like they are coming to see a friend because your staff always greets them with a smile and asks about their family members by name. Because many people have a fear of going to the dentist, your advantage here would be that you have a dental practice patients actually look forward to visiting.

Another powerful way is to evaluate the most common reasons prospects tell you they are looking to change from their current product or service provider to your product or service.

For example, something I hear a lot from clients as to why they left their previous PPC management company is that they are tired of being reassigned to new account reps.

In fact, a recent prospective client told me he was looking to switch his PPC management from a large marketing company. When I asked him why, he told me that his account kept getting bounced around between different PPC managers who he felt had very little vested interest in his business. Every time his account was reassigned to a new point person, he had to re-educate this new person on his company’s goals, needs, and so on.

Because it is common for digital marketing companies to hire young, inexperienced people to manage their clients’ PPC campaigns and because Millennials tend to job-hop between companies, this creates a distinct advantage for my company.

So one of the things I want to play up in my “Buying Guide” is Big Business vs. Small Boutique Firm.

How I showcase this in my “Buying Guide” is like this:

Should You Choose a Big firm or a Boutique Firm?

Considering the small business owner needs every dollar spent to mean something, you’ll want to take careful consideration in choosing the firm that represents you. Because every good opportunity missed and every bad move made has big consequences.

With that in mind, here are some questions to consider before hiring a firm to handle your PPC management.

• Would you prefer to work with employees or directly with the boss of the company?

• Are you okay with having information passed on second hand or do you want to hear information straight from the person with whom the buck stops?

• Are you okay with having your point person re-assigned or would you rather have the same person who knows your account inside and out, backwards and forwards?

• Which do you prefer? A beginning level employee or someone with not only years’ of experience but who is also passionate about PPC?

• Are you okay with re-educating people on your goals, needs and so on should there be turnover in the firm or would you rather explain your goals and needs one time only when you first begin with the firm?

It is common for big digital marketing companies to hire young, inexperienced people to manage their
clients’ PPC campaigns, especially for small business clients with smaller ad budgets. These Millennials tend to job-hop between companies in order to climb the corporate ladder. This means your account not only is handled by inexperienced people, but it’s common to have your account passed off to new hires when your rep leaves for another job. This requires you to educate the newly appointed representative handling your account.

With boutique firms, you are much more likely to deal directly with the owner or a highly experienced PPC manager. Because you are dealing directly with the owner, there is a vested interest in your success. Plus if you are dealing with the owner, you’ll never have to worry about having your account turned over to a new representative. Small boutiques understand that every dollar you spend must count and that bad moves can’t be afforded because they are in the same boat since they are small business owners themselves.

For example, as the owner and operator of PPC for Small Biz, I have a vested interest in the online success of all my clients. It’s my number one concern and it’s one of the main reasons that I started PPC for Small Biz in 2007. I’ve seen the disservice that many small business owners tend to receive from their digital marketing service providers and I opened up my shop to stop this injustice. You see – there is a big difference between large businesses where you’re just a number and a small boutique firm like ours where you can actually have a free marketing consultation with the company founder. In big agencies, their bottom line matters most. In our company, your bottom line matters most because if you succeed then we all succeed. In big companies, you’ll tend to work with newbies just out of school. In our firm, you’ll work with database marketers with over 25 years of experience. In large businesses, you’ll experience working with lots of different employees who can’t wait for 5pm to arrive. At our firm, you’ll find us burning the midnight oil whenever called upon. “

If one of your new clients or patients recently changed from a different company, ask them what it was that made them switch to you. You may be surprised at what you learn. Plus, by asking prospective clients why they are unhappy with the choices available to them or why they are looking to make a change, you may unearth the key points that make you stand out the most.

Now go out and create your “Buying Guide!”