However, here’s the thing:
Competition is only a problem if you face it head-on.
What if you can change the rules of the game to your own advantage so that you are no longer perceived as “just one of the crowd”? What if you can differentiate yourself and your products such that people see you in a completely different class to everybody else?
Answer: You smash your competition.
One great way of getting this done this is by over-delivering and in this post I’d like to share with you some ways of doing more than is expected of you in order to achieve greater success in your online business.
The benefits of over-delivering stretch far beyond internet marketing…
In late 2003 I was working for a financial services company and was assigned to work with a new customer who was in the process of setting up some investment projects. After having an initial meeting with him there were several tasks that he asked me to help with and, obviously, I did my best to do complete these to the best of my ability.
However, I didn’t stop there.
The day after I completed each task I called and asked him if everything was ok with what I had done and whether he needed anything more from me. I also sent him several emails with additional suggestions – related to his current projects – that I thought might help him out in the future. Finally, I made sure I completed every task in-advance of the deadline that I had initially proposed.
In short, I tried my best to over-deliver and generally do much more than was expected of me.
The end-result of all this was that he actually offered me a job!
Although I was very happy with my existing job, I decided to take him up on the offer and ended up working for him for the next 5 years.
But here is the real reason why I am telling you this story: Later, after I had accepted the job, I found out that I had been up against 20 other candidates!
So I’m not telling you this story to brag about a job I got 8 years ago, but instead as an example of how you can eliminate your competition by over-delivering.
I know for a fact that some of the other candidates had superior qualifications and experience to myself. But I had been given the opportunity to show if I could exceed expectations. I took it and ended up with a job offer.
How To Over-Deliver
Of course, the most obvious way of over-delivering is to simply work hard! But in a way this is missing an obvious and easier method which is commonly overlooked:
Managing expectations is great because it is not only easy to do but hardly anyone else (in any walk-of-life, not just in online business) does it effectively…
Here are some examples of how to manage expectations in your internet business:
1. Include Unannounced Bonuses In Your Products
A great deal of the information products sold online are offered with “free” bonuses as a way to increase perceived value.
Whilst this is a very effective marketing tactic to induce more people to make the purchase and to therefore increase your conversion rates, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be perceived as over-delivering in your product offering as people are really still only given what they were originally promised in your marketing.
For this reason, a great and easy way to exceed your customers’ expectations is to include “unannounced bonuses” with your product.
Let’s take the dog training niche as an example and imagine that you are selling a $27 product, as follows:
Bonus 1: Audio Interview With A Professional Puppy Trainer
Bonus 2: Healthy Puppy eGuide (Tips On Keeping Your Dog Healthy And Happy)
Rather than describing this full product bundle in your marketing copy, another option would be to say nothing at all about the Healthy Puppy eGuide (2nd bonus) and then provide it as an surprise bonus to your customers.
Imagine how happy you’d feel if you had just bought a product online and then discovered you were getting not only what you were promised but something extra as well! Chances are you’d feel pretty good, like your hard earned money had been well spent and that you could certainly trust the provider of the product.
Heck, you might even go back to that internet marketer and buy another one of their products!
So, rather than “promising the farm” and then delivering it, promise something slightly less and then over-deliver.
2. Deliberately Set Overly Pessimistic Deadlines
This tip is the one I love the most and it’s especially useful when you are working with other people, whether they are co-product creators, promotional joint-venture partners or customers themselves.
Here are a couple of examples:
1. If you estimate that a specific task – let’s say writing an eBook for your latest product – will take you 7 days, then tell other people you’ll have it done in 10 days.
2. If you think you can provide a response to a customer by tomorrow, tell them you will reply the day after tomorrow.
Very few people (including your competitors) do this! I’m sure you’ve experienced situations yourself when people say things like, “I’ll call you in 2-3 days”. And then they call you in a week, a month or even never at all!.
This is the reason I like this so much: Because it is such a no-brainer and requires no extra work at all!
Remember that your competition is not just about other businesses potentially taking away your customers. It is also about how well you are viewed by the people you work with on the product creation and promotional side of your business.
If you are perceived by interviewees, co-product creators and affiliates as someone who always over-delivers then you vastly increase your chances of working with the best (and most profitable) people in the internet marketing community.
3. Give Away High Valued Free Content
Giving away free and valuable content is a great way to build trust with your audience and this, of course, makes selling a lot easier. However, it is no big secret that this works and consequently many marketers use this tactic.
So, think about how you can go further than your competition.
One example is the traditional e-mail squeeze page where a free gift is offered in return for a person’s email details. When I started Gain Higher Ground I looked around at other marketing websites and “make money online” blogs and noticed that most of the free gifts were relatively short eBooks.
So in order to differentiate myself, I decided to offer free video training instead.
In addition, I decided to provide a free and downloadable “Internet Marketing Cheat Sheet” PDF, with brief reviews and comments about some of the products that I use to run my business on a daily basis.
Similarly, in the planning stages of the video course that I created for the stock market trading niche, my joint venture partners and I agreed to provide upfront and free of charge video training to build trust with potential future customers.
In this post I’ve shown you 3 things that you can implement in order to exceed people’s expectations. However, there are many more ways to do this: Follow up on emails, go the extra mile to help others out, use the phone when most people use email, be extra helpful when participating in online forums, and so on…
As a general rule of thumb, before you do anything in your business ask yourself this question:
“How can I over-deliver?”
Remember, most people don’t set out to exceed expectations because it seems to them that they could end up doing a lot of extra work for nothing. However, this very fact that so few people over-deliver means that if you do then you will massively stand out from the crowd and smash your competition.
Did you enjoy this? Drop me a quick comment below and let me know…