First, “Do you want your business to be different from everyone else?” Let’s say you have a print shop, a MLM business, an automotive repair facility or hair salon. Is it important to be different from your competitor?
Frankly, it may not be. It may be that you want people to think you’re the same as everyone else. The accepted notion is that people and businesses should be unique. Why? If you’re not unique, then how you could possibly answer the question, “Why should I buy from you?”
I once consulted with a VW repairman. He had a little business where he saw one to two new customers in a week. The business paid the bills but little else. Back then I had just opened an Advertising Agency and I was asking for his business. He asked the right question, “What can you do for me?”
I said, “Using our business will build your business which will make you more money.” At the moment I said that I realized that “IF” we could figure out a promotion that would increase his business, I would be right. The trick was going to be figuring that out. He said, “Great, how would you do that?”
After some negotiation we arrived at a fair compensation for the task ahead. I then asked him these questions:
1. Why did you go into business? Ans.: I wanted to work on VW’s. Everyone told me I was the best mechanic they’ve ever found.
2. What were your goals going into business? At first I wanted to get all the work I could get. Later, when the world didn’t beat a path to my door, I just wanted to be able to make a living doing what I enjoy.
3. Are you proud of what you do? Yes. I never get people coming back to say their engine didn’t work after I worked on it.
4. How do people find you? Word of mouth and I go to a lot of off road events.
5. What happens when you get more work than you can handle? Well, that hasn’t happened till now. I have people that I know and trust that would work for me. I would also use my pricing to control the number of customers I have. My price would go up and less people would be willing to buy because so many people buy on price, not quality.
After that meeting, I went back to the office and here is what our staff knew about this man from his comments:
1. He’s the best VW mechanic
2. He’s proud of what he does
3. People get what they want done the first time
4. He wasn’t afraid to charge more because he was confident in what he does.
5. He understood that quality can often be the best value of all.
Here’s what we proposed:
1. We’ll produce a label that can be placed on the housing at the back of the VW engine (it looks like a big half circle and is clearly visible when the engine cover is raised.
2. The design was red/white/blue and said:
I repaired this engine. I’m proud of my work. Signed: ____________________.
The quality of my work is my reputation. The value of my work is the performance of your engine that I repaired on: _____________.
Your next service is due: ____________ Please call:________________ for your next appointment.
Our family appreciates the opportunity to be of service to yours.
As Paul Harvey would say, “Here’s the rest of the story.” Those whose engines were serviced by our client told others, the label placed on the engine was like a guarantee. People knew it would work. Within the next 6 months his business tripled. We later advised him on uniforms, building colors, design and more. In a single year we made over $20,000 in fees. He grossed over $250,000 in business in 12 months. You be the judge.
Did this business set itself up differently? NO. Did they come to realize that the value was in being different? YES.
What’s different about your business? Why? Once you have an answer or two, let’s turn that into a value statement and see how we can help set you apart from the competition.
Here’s an idea that differs widely. If you go into two stores providing exactly the same product, the service can be a completely different experience.
In Burbank, CA there was a young resident that graduated and wanted to open up his own pharmacy in his home town. The problem: there were already 5 pharmacies in his town. Most of them, in distance were not that far from one another.
He went to each pharmacy and used their service. He asked questions, hung out a bit. Here’s what he observed. Every one that came into anyone of the pharmacies was just a customer. None of them had a relationship with the clerks or the pharmacist.
Individuals using coupons were far and few between and that products purchased were predictable based on age group, time of day served and weather conditions.
This young man decided to open his own pharmacy. He vowed that where possible, he would always call people by their name and so would his clerks. At the very least, he would always ask their name (if he didn’t already know it).
Result: In the space of 12 months, two of his competitors closed their doors.
Draw your own conclusions to this true story. Ask yourself this question, “can I use the service I provide to differentiate my business from my competition?
If you have a question, please list it here or PM me you want to keep it private.
Everyone is truly unique. What makes you different?