Three basic business questions you MUST answer

The answers to three basic questions should form the foundation of your marketing communications plan — and very possibly your entire business. They are incredibly tough for most people to answer:

1. What do you, your business or organization do? I mean REALLY do.
2. How do (or will) people, i.e. customers, benefit from what you do? In other words, what pain do you take away from your customers? Or what problem do you solve for them? Or what’s in it for them, i.e. what do they get out of doing business with you?
3. Why should someone choose YOUR product, service or idea? What makes you, your product, service or idea different or better than your competition?

I struggle with these questions myself. I know and admire a lot of talented writers who do what I do. So why do people hire me instead of them? What’s my special sauce? What makes me different?

If my clients don’t tell me, I ask them. For example, I might ask them for a LinkedIn recommendation. If you have a sales team, they probably have valuable information for you. And you can also hire someone like me to ask for you.

What I’ve found out is that my clients:

* Like the quality of my work without having to pay high prices
* Know I’ll work nights and weekends to get the job done
* Trust that I’ll always tell them the truth
* Count on me to protect them and keep them from doing something that might be a bad idea or (gasp) grammatically incorrect
* Know I make complex ideas easy to understand
* Think I’m a hoot

What you find out will help you update your marketing and business plans, make sure you’re delivering what your clients want, and refine your message. You’ll learn about things that need to be fixed or can be capitalized on. AND you’ve reminded your clients how much they like doing business with you, which really comes in handy.