72% of businesses are more likely to buy from thought leaders that are recognised as an expert in their industry. However, most Automotive companies don't come across as unique. On that topic, lets talk about an effective way to position your brand to truly differentiate you from the competition, which is part of our series on Business Growth for Automotive companies...
Lets start with Hero and Positioning Statements
We've all heard of positioning statements but you may be asking "what's a hero statement". Well, a hero statement is your equivalent to an elevator pitch BUT, like most things we do, the hero and positioning statements we recommend to create, are different to how others do elevator pitches and position statements.
Most statements about a brand are just that; statements. But, to get your marketing and sales teams to actively use them, day to day, without sounding like a robot, you need to do it differently.
First, it's important to understand the core elements of a strong positioning statement
- Define who you help, your ideal customer, and be specific
- Show the main benefit that you give
- And make it obvious what you sell
- End with a question
The order of your statements may change but those are the main elements. The main difference being that you always end with a question as it turns it from a statement to something that will start a conversation, either to get replies to emails or on the phone.
An example of our hero statement
The Tree Group is a business growth agency that combines sales, marketing, and websites to help Automotive companies in the UK with at least 10 staff and a desire to grow by 15% in the next 18 months. Does that sound like you?
You'll see that we've included all the core elements of a strong statement, backed up with a question. That way it's not a dead end statement but something that helps your sales and marketing people understand if the lead has a need that you can help with.
If a salesperson gets asked "what are you selling me" the hero statement is a nicer way to reply and because it ends with a question you have more chance of opening up a conversation rather than getting a "I don't need that". However, if you do get an "I don't need that" then you move onto your positioning statements.
So, that's a hero statement. Now lets look at positioning statements
These are really interesting and something that most Automotive companies don't have.
In previous posts we've look at questions to use in sales and marketing activity to differentiate you from your competitors, to uncover need, and be a genuine consultant that knows how to help your ideal customers. Positioning statements are the next level...
Positioning statements are important at the early stages of getting to know a new contact or lead. They include a problem or challenge that's most common with your ideal customers - you'll know this because you will have conducted your ideal customer research. And, in sales, the best route to attracting new customers and selling is to discover that the person you're talking to has a need - or as we put it, there's a cost of inaction. Trying to sell to somebody that doesn't want or need to change will result in poor sales performance.
Here's an example of one of our 'Frustrated with results' positioning statement
We help directors (like you) who are frustrated that they’ve invested a lot of time and resources into their sales and marketing activity but are disappointed with the results.
Typically they’ve done piecemeal efforts like SEO, AdWords, email marketing, some social media and traditional press releases. Usually, they haven’t seen results, or if they have, it hasn’t translated to more leads and sales.
ARE YOU EXPERIENCING SIMILAR CHALLENGES? (pause, pause, pause)
HMMMM…TELL ME ABOUT THAT? (pause, pause, pause)
And, if we get a no, we have two more positioning statements based on the other main problems and challenges that Automotive companies typically have. Also, pausing is an important part of selling effectively, but lets cover that in future posts about sales playbooks.
I've been on the phone to busy business owners, who only ever want to get straight to the point, and positioning statements have been what gets the conversation going and quickly uncovering a need. Likewise, if there's no need after running through the hero and positioning statements then we still offer some quick help, ask if it's ok to keep them on our mailing list, and move on. It keeps the conversation human, helpful, and good for your brand. You really don't need any hard sell tactics if you have the right knowledge about your audience and are able to quickly see if they need help.
Now, what about the process we go through to create hero and positioning statements
You can learn more on our website, just go to Services and Step 5 of our approach to business growth; however, lets give you some details here:
- Start with a questionnaire to survey all key people in the business
- Assess your current positioning
- Define "why" your company exists
- Identify your company’s ideal customer
- Identify your company’s core competencies
- And, define your company’s culture
- Research your case studies and proof
- Draft your hero statement based on the elements mentioned previously
- Add your positioning statements
- Then share them with all staff and run a survey to gather feedback
- Finalise and update throughout all your sales and marketing content
Once you have the completed versions you need to make sure they're easy to access so your sales and marketing team use them all the time. If you use HubSpot CRM then you can use Snippets so they're easy to add into emails. You could also save them as phrases in ProKeys so they're easy to add into messages on LinkedIn. Lastly, we compile a Business Growth Manual for all our clients to use as the bible for sales and marketing activity and processes; create a slide in there that have all statements in one place so it's easy to review and update as your business develops.
To learn more about how to differentiate and position your Automotive company, start with Creating your hero and positioning statements...
You can find previous posts in our series on business growth on our blog, at iTunes and Soundcloud, or on YouTube.