Stop Trying to Fit In
There is an innate desire inside each person to fit in. There is always a fear of being different. Many of these fears come from our childhood when if you were different you were singled out and possibly made fun of. In continues in all walks of life. People follow fashion trends and movements that are set by people that they look up to. We give into peer pressure so much that we start to live our lives trying to keep up with the fictitious Jones. Now that is not to say that we shouldn’t work hard and reward ourselves for our hard work with some of the finer things in life. After all, we only go around once. But as a people we are very judgmental and are critical of people who are different. There are many people who dress differently, act differently, or have a different set of beliefs that set them apart from the mainstream.
Don't Be Mainstream
However, being a little different makes you stand out from your competition. No doubt this can be a little scary but these are the things that make your company unique. You should start by looking at your differentiators. What makes your company totally different? This is not going to be the same things that made your company different five years ago. Times change and companies change, the competition is constantly improving and implementing new processes to stay competitive. So take a long look at your company and figure out the two or three things that make you unique in your market to the audience that you are targeting.
Pen Your UVP
Once you have these separators laid out you need to work them into your unique value proposition. A unique value proposition is a three to four sentence paragraph that lets people know why they should do business with you. As you take the differentiators and turn them into your unique value proposition, remember that your potential customers do not know your business or industry as well as you do. Do not assume that they know anything or you will be limiting your audience. In the past many people would refer to this as your elevator pitch. The concept being that it would be what you would tell someone if you were in an elevator and had about 30 seconds to get your business concept through to the others on the elevator.
The problem with an elevator pitch is that there is not necessarily anything unique about it. Let’s face it, with the technologies today to be able to communicate with some many people so easily, getting someone’s attention is the key. There are millions of people out there trying to increase their market share and if you are the same as all of your competition, the odds that your market share will increase is slim. But being too extreme may well be a turn off for your customers as well. Like so many things in life, keeping it balanced is the key.
Turn Customers into Promtoers
If your differentiators are compelling, and you regularly exceed your customer expectations, then your customers will likely move from being customers into being promoters. Once you start to gain promoters, it is like growing your sales team without adding overhead. This is by far the most important question to ask your currently customers – “Would you recommend our product or service to a friend or colleague?” If your customers to not overwhelmingly answer yes, then you have some work to do on your delivery. But if they do answer yes – then you are building your promoters. These people will sell your company better than you ever could. These are also a great group of people to tap for what they see as your differentials and what they see as your strengths and weaknesses.
An additional benefit of having your unique value proposition is that it makes sure that everyone on your team, not just your sales team, knows what is important to the management and the customers and helps to give them guidance as they make decisions in their work environment.
While no one likes to be totally different, you need to embrace being different enough that you can stand out from the crowd. Everyone is working for the same goal – increased revenue, increased profits, increased productivity, minimized expenses, customer happiness and employee happiness. The real differentiators come from how you get there.
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