What do you have to brag about?
If you’ve been following this “Competitive Advantage” series (an introduction and what’s important to your customer) , you might have noticed that it’s not that easy to come up with a really good competitive advantage that will get your ideal customer to choose you.
This is probably because as kids, we’ve been taught that “bragging” isn’t really nice. Bragging generally makes people run away from you. But we’re not talking about obnoxious bragging – we’re talking about INFORMING people of the good things that you’ve done or accomplished that could actually help them accomplish some good things themselves.
Overcoming the Bragging Obstacle
Here is a list of areas where you might have bragging rights and simply forgot or hadn’t thought of:
- What is it about your staff or team that is unusual or that they achieve easily?
- In what ways does your team or company deliver services that is different from others?
- What is it about your team that your clients like?
- Make a list of all the things you do for clients and customers that you don’t think twice about, you just do it because it’s the right thing to do?
- Tell me about a time where you were creative about solving a problem.
- What are some things that you THINK are true about your business or that you’ve noticed recently? ?Look into it and start gathering data around it.
- What awards has your company won? What about employees in your company? Have you won anything over and over again? Are you on any top 10 lists?
- Where does all your new business come from? Referrals? ?Original customers? How many are repeat customers?
- What’s the average quantifiable benefit that customer receive from your product, service or process? Is transitioning in painless, can you start using it right away? How quickly will your customer benefit from your?service? How much money do you save them? How much time do you save? What’s the difference in time and money from the old way of doing things to working with you?
- What’s easy for you that seems to be hard or impossible for others?
- What’s the average time it takes to solve a problem? For example “We will solve your problem or answer your question within 2 hours of your asking – guaranteed”
- Where do you have buying power? In what ways can you save customers time or money (and how much) by using the leverage you have?
- Does your name or brand have influencial power? Can people trust what you put out because of your name and reputation?
- What about your capacity to handle volume? ?This could be huge – in what areas do you have over-capacity that you can easily fill, where others might fall behind?
- What strengths do you have in your distribution channel? Do you have lots of reps or easy access to the key decision-makers in a particular industry?
- In what areas have you shown consistent improvement year after year, quarter after quarter?
- In what areas are you a good predictor? Where have you decided to act BEFORE the market caught on? In what ways has that benefited your company and your customers?
- What “secret” do you know about your industry that your customers don’t – and not knowing this detail consistently costs them time and money? In other words, what don’t your customers know that they should know – and if they did, they would only buy from YOU?
- In what areas of your organization do you have: the largest or the most, the least, the best, etc.
- In what areas does the client save time or money and how much by working with you?
- What “special things” do you do to deliver a quality product or service that may cost a bit more or take longer – that your customers may not know about, but would like and appreciate? How does this special process benefit your client? (Can they sell more, sell more quickly, fewer time between maintenence, etc?)
- What cool item, service, extra something would you customers love, but not really “do for themselves” that you can offer. For example Hertz rental cars was offering GPS before anyone else.
- In what ways can you create payment terms that are really great for the customer – and set you apart?
- In what ways can you creatively use guarantees to take risk away from your customers?
- In what ways is your product or service “easier to use” than the alternative? I remember thinking my company was selling a unique formulation for a product – when, in fact, we were selling faster processing on the filling line. When you’re filling 600 vials of $200 product every minute – that’s a real selling point.
- In what ways do you gather and manage information that provides added value for your customer? Do you keep them up to date on current trends, does the information you provide make them smarter (or appear smarter)?
- How do you use training in your company? Do you train customers? Do your employees provide help and training for customers? How do you do that and how does that benefit the customer?
- What kind of industry information do your customers want – that no one has provided so far?
- Make a list of your actions/products/services that make your customers’ job easier and more profitable. (training, helping, providing resources or documentation, etc)
- Do you measure customer satisfaction or Net Promoter Score? Start now and share your results such as “98% of our customers have already referred us !”
- In what ways can you brand or “name” a service (formalize it) that your organization naturally does for people? ?One elder law attorney hires a limo to drive his clients around to government offices and banks so they can easily complete their administrative checklist.
That’s enough for now. If you’ve tried any of these, leave a comment and let us know what your results were.