Whether you own the shingle that hangs from your place of business, or you represent the person who does, how can we distinguish ourselves from the competition? Engineer, Architect, Contractor or Material Supplier; if we offer the same service that others do, “Are we just another gallon of milk?”
A good company, and the people that represent it, will actively find ways to gain and maintain business, without the mere tactic of just dropping the price. Granted, price is a determination in the final decision to do business with someone, however, it’s not everything. Here are a few ideas I’ve come across that can make you stand out from the crowded dairy case of choices, keeping in mind there are many more beyond this list:
Be Yourself. Your product might be the same, but you aren’t. You are unique in what you offer. Do you know your product/service? Do you believe in it? Are you available when called upon? Do you follow up and offer solutions to problems? Are you easy to deal with and likeable?
Superior Customer Service. Create the best experience from the initial proposal all the way to the delivery of the final product/service. Establish Excellent Communication. Meet Deadlines/ Delivery Schedules. Correct Billing Disputes. Develop Relationships. Look Professional. Is your company easy to do business with? Do you answer the phone, return calls, follow up?
Be The Expert in Your Field. You may offer the same things, but have you mastered what you provide and are you looked upon as a leader in your field? Having that distinction will make you more desirable as a Company and or Rep.
Address the Decision Maker AND his/her End User. Don’t just focus on the person who writes the check for what you are selling, but rather respect the end user as well. The Decision Maker has others in the organization that use what you are providing. Chances are they influence the Decision Maker and it would be wise to identify them.
As I said, there are many more ways to distinguish yourself, your company and the people on your team. Take time to think about what makes you different and capitalize on it. If you do, when stacked up against your competition, you will never feel like “Just Another Gallon of Milk”