In any sector, there may be a half-a-dozen criteria by which clients and prospects might assess the offer of a particular business. However, the trick in any business is to focus your efforts on those areas where you truly shine.
When we first start working with our clients, most of them believe that their offer has to be strong in every area in order to compete. Not only does this lead to a massive dilution of focus and effort ... it just plain doesn't work!
Most of the areas by which your business will be evaluated by clients and prospects are simply 'required' in order to even be in a particular sector. If you are selling cars ... you'd better have ready access to cars to sell. If you are giving financial advice, you're expected to have a strong understanding of investment strategy. These are 'non-negotiable' areas that the market simply assumes you have expertise in and they are not likely to be areas where you are going to be able to differentiate your offer. However, there are going to be a few areas in which your offer is really strong. THESE are the areas to focus on in your business!
To be in the game, you have to meet expectations in all the areas that the market expects you to deliver on. However, not everyone weights all of these factors equally, so you don't have to excel at everything. While one prospect might value 'selection' and 'expertise,' another will value 'service experience' and 'cost.' So guess what happens... by focusing on the areas that you are strongest in, you attract clients who value those things most. What happens if you deliver great service and class-leading expertise to clients who value great service and expertise? They have a great experience by working with you because you exceed their expectations in the areas they value most, and they become the type of raving fans who become a source of referrals to your business. These clients help you build your business in a way that allows you to do what you do best.
And what of those who value areas other than where you perform best? What if you deliver great service and expertise to clients who value variety of choice and low cost ... and you don't offer the largest selection and you prefer to offer better terms rather than lowest cost options? If they become clients, it won't matter how good you are at delivering your great service and expertise, they will always be left wanting in the areas they value most, and they won't have a great experience ... and they won't become a referral source.
The differentiation work we do with our clients helps them understand how to put their best foot forward ... how to identify where they play best and how to position themselves to attract the clients who value what they deliver best. We have seen this strategy transform their businesses. Where they once spent a lot of time and energy spinning their wheels trying to be all things to all people, they now serve a client base that values what they bring to the table. Both the business owners and their clients reap the rewards of this clarity and focus.
So remember, when you meet with your clients and prospects, focus on the things you do well to create your own Success, Differently.