I often meet business professionals from various industries and I’m fascinated to find out more about their company. Usually I prompt them with a leading question, “So what makes you different from your competitors?” in the hope of receiving an inspired and enthusiastic response. Many times I’m presented with a list of their services and they expect me to be impressed.
I’ve found a percentage of people truly believe their “Unique Selling Point” is way ahead of their competitors and if that is true I would be sorely disappointed by the others following in their wake. What companies fail to recognise is the end users’ expectations and typically the trail blazers only match what the client expects. As a society we have become accepting of poor service as the norm and accept the excuses which are readily provided, as long as it’s cheap enough.
I recently spoke to a firm of solicitors who were proud of their personal service, their prompt responses and their success rate. When challenged “what makes them different”they were confident that they excelled in their industry, but as an end user I would expect these as a minimum starting point.
As a consumer we all end up choosing where to spend our hard earned cash, but our choices generally come down to a sterile process of who can supply a product or service“faster, better or cheaper” and we just accept all the shortfalls that go with the transaction. Usually these cost the company’s bottom line and often the suppler gets squeezed out of the market by decreasing profit margins because their ethos is money driven.
Surely the inspired companies that will win the business and stand the test of time are the ones that do genuinely exceed the customers’ expectations by adding value to the transaction rather than discounting their shortfalls. I believe that creating customer "buy in"is never about money but more so about how you are different.