What Makes You Different? No one knows until you tell them

What’s the difference?  We’re all the same, right?  How many times do we all say that when we choose one retailer over another for a simple purchase.  They all sell the same things and at pretty much the same prices.  In the big-box world, that may be a fair statement.  Dealing with small businesses, however, it couldn’t be further from the truth.  Sure, each of our industries is made up of many businesses and many choices, but what sets each of us apart?

When you own a small business, you must be able to differentiate yourself from others in your field and you can’t be afraid to share what makes you different.  For some odd reason, there came a time when having confidence seemed to be confused with being arrogant.  So, many people are less likely to say they are a “better fit because…..”

There’s no shame in trying to set yourself apart because every day there is attrition in your industry.  Which side of that equation would you like to be on?  So figure out what makes you different and share those aspects with others.  About ten years ago, when email was not the easiest way to connect with virtually everyone and cell phones were not as widely used or as affordable to use as a primary phone, I put my home number on my business cards.  People thought I was crazy, even many clients.  I would explain that unlike the majority in my field at that time, if you had a question during non-business hours, I wanted to be able to answer it for you.  Did that really raise the percentage of phone calls that I received at home?  Not really.  Of course there were some clients that used it frequently.  Most would still leave a message at the office.  But, what did that “say” to the clients?  It said that I was willing to make myself available all of the time when that was not yet the norm.  I wouldn’t hide behind voice mail or let any question fester in a client’s mind longer than it had to.  My goal in this was to be different than others in my industry.

Do you have a mission statement for your company?  Are any of your distinct qualities spelled out in there?  If not, that is a document you can update & change from time to time.  When you do presentations, make sure you keep a minute or two to talk about these things.  This is what sets you apart and what gives potential clients the desire to want to work with you.

When I started this blog, I made a promise to myself that this would be about sharing information and not about self promotion.  Again, some have told me that’s crazy.  My goal is to provide thoughtful topics that can be shared within any industry.  If you really want to know what sets our business apart from others in the same arena, just ask.  I’m not too shy to tell you.

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