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It’s often tempting to simply list “features and benefits” when writing copy. It’s often appropriate, or even necessary, to talk about how what you have is better than what the other guys have. If that’s the best way for you to make your case, go for it.

On the other hand, you might also want to consider how something you DON’T have may be the EXACT reason why the prospect should become your customer.

For example, in their commercials, Nationwide Insurance talks about the fact that they don’t have shareholders. The implied benefit is that they are focused on taking care of YOU, the customer, not shortchanging policyholders in an effort to maximize shareholder returns. The fact that they are not some huge, publicly traded company is presented as having VALUE for you.

Even having fewer customers than the other guys can be a benefit to your customers. The benefit is that you can assure your customers they won’t get lost in the shuffle. You can promise your customers more intimacy than the other guys. Or more customized service. Or more tailored solutions based on how well you know and understand their business as a result of working so closely with them without having an enormous customer base distracting your attention.

Avis Car Rental did this superbly many years ago when it stopped trying to compete with Hertz for the #1 position and instead proclaimed, “We’re #2, so we try harder.” They came right out and said, yep, as the “little guy,” we know we NEED your business, which means we can’t afford to make mistakes. So we’re going to work to keep you happy and keep you coming back. The whole “underdog” story resonated well with the marketplace.

Next time you’re thinking something like a smaller footprint in the marketplace is a drawback, try saying to yourself “That’s exactly why you should hire us,” then put yourself in the shoes of your customer and figure out how what may appear to be a disadvantage could indeed be the very reason why they should do business with you.

What you “don’t have” could turn out to be your biggest asset!

 The winner ain’t the one with the fastest car, its the one who refuses to lose” – Dale Earnhardt

 

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