What Makes You Unique? | November 7th, 2011

Are you Unique?What kind of business are you in? Are you the only one selling a particular product or service, or are there others offering the exact same thing?

In today’s marketplace almost every business is competing for customers. To succeed you need to stand out. There has to be a special something that sets you apart from your competitors.

What makes you unique? It needn’t be anything extravagant, and you don’t need to shout it from the rooftops. Even subtle differences can make you more memorable to your clients, or more appealing to your prospects.

It could be that you already offer above average service. Are you keeping it a secret or are you letting customers know? For example, I pride myself on adhering to my quoted price (provided the parameters of the job don’t change significantly), but occasionally a job will require more time than I anticipated. I add the additional hours to the invoice, but don’t charge for them. That way my client knows that I respect their budget and have worked hard to make sure that the project was a success on all levels.

Ask yourself what “extras” you already provide your customers. Do you package your service with free “add-ons”? Do you donate a portion of your profits to a charity? Do you offer free training or consulting with your product? Do you guarantee customer satisfaction? Is your brand of product superior in some way to similar items in the marketplace?

Identify your uniqueness, then find opportunities to let people know about it. Inform your clients and prospects of the benefits of doing business with you. Point out how much money you saved them, or how quickly you delivered their order. If you generally include an additional product or service for no extra charge, place a dollar amount on it and make your customer aware of the value.

There are more subtle methods to set yourself apart, too. If a customer requests information, get it to them in a timely fashion along with a note: “I’ve enclosed the information you requested, as promised.” The “as promised” quietly points out that you live up to your obligations.

What if you don’t feel there is a difference between you and your competitor? There are many simple ways to make an impact, and they can be integrated into your customer communications immediately. Hand write thank you notes for recent sales. Follow up with a phone call or email to make sure clients are happy with your service. Compose a take-away information sheet that will help customers better understand the benefits of your product. Start throwing a goody in the box when you ship an order – I’ve received everything from refrigerator magnets to Smarties candies, and its always a pleasant surprise.

You will be amazed how much of a difference basic gestures can make. Your clients will appreciate your efforts, and will be more likely to work with you again – or refer more business to you.

Remember, you don’t have to do back flips or create miracles to gain success. To be the best, you just need to set yourself apart from the rest.

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