Four (4) things prospects like to know when they first meet you:
WHAT . . . do you do for your clients? (Value Proposition)
WHO . . . you do that for? (Target Market / Ideal Client)
HOW . . . you do that? (Secret Sauce)
WHY . . . are you better than other firms? (Unique Selling Proposition)
Your TALKING LOGO addresses most of these questions. But what’s the REAL basis for ‘standing out’ from your competitors? It’s NOT (darn it!) as easy as crafting a great message you can use when you meet someone for the first time.
How Do You STAND OUT . . . to a Prospective Client?
Years ago a famous marketing professor at Harvard Business School (Ted Leavitt) was asked to help a major accounting firm ‘differentiate’ their audit services. A major corporation’s audit business is worth a LOT of money to the accounting firm that “wins the audit” away from other competitors.
To differentiate a product or service, it must be BOTH:
1) Beneficial . . . i.e. it must offer a meaningful benefit, and
2) Unique . . . i.e. it can’t be like anything else
Then, he explained the challenge . . . “If something is truly beneficial, it won’t be ‘unique’ for long — competitors will follow suit and if something is truly unique, maybe what you’re offering isn’t all that beneficial”.
Everything this firm offered in an audit was also being offered by their competitors. So where was the opportunity to differentiate? It didn’t (seem to) exist!
The Challenge of Differentiating Your Business and Services
But Leavitt had an idea. He asked to interview their best audit clients to learn, “WHY . . . did they choose your firm to get an audit?”. The client agreed.
A large number of their clients later told him, “We just liked them better than any other firm”.
“Perception IS Reality”
In marketing, being ‘liked’ isn’t about being ‘nice’ (even if you are!). It’s about being seen as a Preferred Provider relative to your competitors.
The clients suggested a number of PERCEPTIONS about Leavitt’s client and told him that it was how they behaved during their meetings that convinced them his client was the ‘best firm’ to use to get that audit.
Basically, what they SAID and DID convinced these prospects to go with Leavitt’s client!
The Big Lesson Here
Ask your ‘best clients’ the question, “Why did you choose OUR firm?”. Follow that up with, “What did we SAY or DO to make you believe we were ‘the best’ firm to use?
You’ll learn what you need to say and do in front of prospects . . . to ‘Stand Out’ from the crowd of your (alleged!) competitors.