Sell Your Difference, Stand Out

from my old blog: Thursday, August 30, 2007

It takes years to deeply gain insight into our differences, our positioning & our branding in business. There are actual stages a business undergoes in this evolution.

1. We launch our company and want to be everything for everyone. We believe we know how to do just about everything in our realm of business.

2. We learn that we can never know it all. We start to hone in our product specialties or services focussing on a few we do really well.

3. After some time, we realize we’re much better at one aspect of our business than our competitors, so we focus on selling that. It’s at this point we’ll start hearing how much better ours is than our competitors. That’s when we start finding clients who are a great fit for us, so we get to do more of what we like, less of what we don’t. And not so surprisingly, we become more profitable at this stage.

So, how can we get to this point sooner? I believe knowledge is bliss. If we know what our competitors are really not great at doing, perhaps we can partner to help them on those items. In fact, that work for partner competitors can account for 60% of new business for your company. I know because I’ve done it.

Or perhaps we learn to sell our strengths and position our companies at being really solid in those strengths rather than promoting the same thing all our competitors do. For example, my marketing agency also delivers one-on-one coaching besides the design, writing, web teams to handle creating all promotions. This coaching is how we’re different. But it took me ten years to really realize that and start to promote it. Shoemaker’s kids, I guess.

I find most companies don’t even believe they have competitors. What’s up with that? Denial or just a lack of knowledge? Just remember, it’s harming you not to know this (and we can help you find them if you truly don’t know who they are!).
I think these steps will help simplify it:

In my unquenchable thirst for knowledge, I’m always seeking other opinions or techniques, so please let me know if I’m missing something you feel is important?

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