Friday, I talked to a founder of a SaaS business in the Recruitment space.
“How’s business going?” I asked.
“Good!” he responded. “We grew 3x last year and reached $1.5M ARR. We have an 80% margin, cash flow positive, and we’re forecasting to hit $5M by the end of 2023.”
“Great to hear this,” I answered. “Anything particularly challenging?”
And that’s where the floodgate opened.
“We’re selling in the enterprise space, and it takes a lot of time to close deals, well over eight months. There’s a lot of competition, and we haven’t found a way to avoid the discount battles.”
In preparation for our call, I visited their website, and honestly, I was positively surprised. Unlike so many websites that just throw features while claiming they’re the leader, this one addressed a very recognizable, emotion-loaded problem – it had strong customer evidence, and their promise created positive tension.
One thing I noticed, though, was this: Their entire promise was about fewer interviews, faster hiring, and reduced hiring cost savings.
Here’s the thing
In commodity markets – 99% of claims follow one structure: Faster, cheaper, better. And although that might all be true to a potential buyer, it’s noise – no matter what numbers you promise (in this case, 90% fewer, 18x faster, and 65% reduction – so not insignificant.)
This means that the buyer can’t see the differences – and all vendors will look the same. So they’ll have two choices: Go with the one they trust most (that the claims are correct, likely the most established, largest brand), or the one they can get cheapest.
So how to escape this? Try this:
- Niche down – find an audience that’s struggling with an expensive problem. A problem that’s critical to solve (or else…) – and where you can exceed expectation
- Be different. Take Position – away from the fewer, faster, cheaper – towards something they secretly aspire – and upside advantage that only you can give them (think: growth, competitiveness, market attractiveness,…)
In short: Become irresistible for the right customers.
Here’s the question for you to reflect upon:
Are your customers inspired by the promise you give them? What if they were?