Communicate value.It’s getting tougher to compete on price alone because there’s always somebody willing to do what you do or sell what you sell for less. Globalization and the Internet have resulted in small businesses with behemoths like Amazon and Wal-Mart. Many feared for the future of small business, wondering how they could compete in the global marketplace—yet many small businesses are thriving.

Why would someone pay more for a similar product or service? They are willing to spend the extra dough because that product or service has a higher perceived value than a cheaper alternative. The customer is willing to pay more for the extra value of convenience, durability, quality, or service, to name a few. By establishing the value of your product or service, you to compete on your own terms, i.e. the value you bring, rather than against the lowest price.

So, how do you establish the value of your product or service? And how do you best communicate that value to your potential customer? You can establish and communicate the value of your product or service by focusing on its benefits, not its features. A feature is an attribute that makes your product or service special and a benefit is the result of the feature.

Here are a few examples:

FEATURE BENEFIT
Large inventory selection Find and buy what you need without waiting.
Durable, long-lasting construction You’ll replace less often, saving you money.
Customized service plans You don’t pay for what you don’t want or need.
Online appointment setting Conveniently set appointments any time, day or night.
Dedicated client advisor You don’t need to speak with multiple people to find someone to help, saving you time and aggravation.

It’s still important to be able to list features, as it gives your customer information they may need to help guide their decision. However, features alone typically can’t close the sale. When developing a sales pitch or marketing collateral, it’s critical to highlight the benefits as well. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes: why do they choose your business over your competitors? Is it because your top-notch service staff helps them find what they need in less time? Is it because your handmade products are all one-of-a-kind, which allows them to express their individuality and personal style? Or is it because your expanded hours means that they don’t have to take off work to visit your office?

In order to move away from a price-centric conversation, you need to communicate the value you offer. By centering the conversation on the benefits of your product or service, you speak directly to your customer’s pain points and reinforce the value you provide beyond price alone.

Leave a comment and tell us about the benefits of your business's product or service.