Positioning your business to gain greater sales

The way you position your business will serve as the foundation for all of your marketing efforts – setting your business up to achieve higher levels of sales.

The way you position your business will serve as the foundation for all of your marketing efforts – setting your business up to achieve higher levels of sales.

Determine how you’ll position your business

How you position your business can help define what your customers value about your products or services (or the way they’re delivered). The best positioning for your business:

  • Appeals directly to your target customers – given what you define as important to them.
  • Sets you apart from the competition – in light of what you know about your competitors.
  • Is based around your competitive advantage.

What are the key benefits you'd like customers to value in your products or services? For example, customers might believe that your products or services will:

  • Save them time.
  • Save them money.
  • Make them feel important.
  • Make them feel safe.

If you're starting up a new business, breaking your market up into customer segments will give you a sense of the different groups of customers you can choose to target.

Positioning versus competitive advantage

While your competitive advantage describes what makes your business special from the inside, your positioning states what makes it different from the outside – from the customer's perspective.

For example, a yoga instructor might position her services in a way that emphasizes health, prestige, or cost. Different positioning attracts different clientele.

If you run an established business, be sure to ask your customers what qualities they associate with your products or services – you could be surprised by the responses.

Increasing sales through your business’s position

Positioning your business so it can achieve an increase in sales should be a concern for every business owner. Consider these important questions:

  • Where do you sell your products or services? In your office or retail store, online, on the phone, or in the homes of customers?
  • Who participates in each sale? Do you have sales representatives that visit prospective customers or do you sell through a broker or distributor? Are there salespeople in your store(s)? Do you conduct all your selling directly to end-users?
  • How do customers pay you? By using debit or credit cards, through PayPal or similar online merchants, or simply in cash?
  • If your business extends credit to customers, what are your credit terms? How do you make sure customers are creditworthy and will pay on time?
  • Do you offer any discounts and what are your policies regarding returns, guarantees, and warranties?
  • What sort of after-sales customer service do you offer?

The answers to these questions should align as closely as they can to the way you’ve positioned your business in the eyes of consumers. For example, if you advertise your business as having unbeatable pre and post sales customer service along with accepting all the common methods of payment, then you need to stick by these statements.

Customer service can play a key role

Customer service is likely to be a key part of keeping your customers content and returning to your business for repeat purchases.

The right sort of customer service can help you appeal to your target customers, and can also offer them advantages that your competitors don't provide. Customer service can include:

  • Ongoing technical support.
  • Loyalty programs.
  • Calling existing customers each month to see if they have any needs you can help with.

Happy customers are the key to any business's success. That's why it's important to think carefully about how you’ll position your business – and how you’ll match that perception through the actions of you and your staff.

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