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Is it your product the customer really needs?

A problem common to a lot of industrial marketing is that, well, our products aren’t really that much different to the competition, are they? Put yourself in any of your prospects’ situations and they could probably get a decent enough alternative from other suppliers.

If that sounds familiar, you’ll have tried to work out some USPs which may not be product related. The key to getting these right is – as ever – to ask what the customer is really looking for. Sure, every blue widget may perform the same function, but performing that function may be only part of the customer’s real requirement. What’s actually wanted is reliable regular deliveries over a long period, a certain type of packaging, flexible payment terms, or even just a supplier whose website is easy to order from.

When anyone else can supply your blue widgets, you need to differentiate yourself in other ways. But start with the customer when it comes to identifying those other ways, don’t take the easy route of focusing on the differentiators you inherently possess.