WHY would a customer choose to do business with you?

Here’s a question that I ask in every speech I present — and, it’s one that I challenge you to answer, as well:

WHY would a customer choose to do business with you…as opposed to the competition?

I can probably guess the answers that you will give me, because they’re probably very similar to the ones I hear most frequently at my programs:

  • we have great customer service
  • people are our biggest asset
  • our products make the difference
  • we care about our customers

Here’s the problem:

These are the same reasons that your competition is saying that they’ll be chosen instead of you!

What’s wrong with these answers?  Consider the response that customers can provide…

  1. “We have great customer service” — That’s what your competitor promised me, too.  Yet, I don’t see you doing anything differently from their approach.
  2. “People are our biggest asset” — You’re saying the competition has inferior people?  They have good folks working for them, too.  WHY are your people superior?
  3. “Our products make the difference” — Look, it’s not like you’re selling the iPhone and everyone else has some old flip phone.  If you don’t have a good product today, you’re probably already out of business.  Your competition has some advantages, too.
  4. “We care about our customers” — So, HOW do you care more about me than your competition?  How will you show me you care more?  Are you certain you don’t mean that you care about my money — instead of me?

As you sell and serve…you must examine if you are doing it distinctively.

In other words, if the reasons you’re giving to the question, “WHY would a customer choose to do business with you..as opposed to the competition?” are the same reasons your competitor is giving the customer — and, therefore, provides no superior positioning for you in the customer’s mind — then, why wouldn’t they focus on price as the determining factor in where they purchase?

Your mission is to create distinction.

  • For leaders — an organizational culture of distinction that stimulates remarkable performance and attracts extraordinary people
  • For sales professionals — to stand out from your competition in a manner that gains you a clear advantage in the marketplace
  • For service professionals — to take care of your customers in a unique manner that sets your experience apart from what they would receive elsewhere

If you deliver distinctively…then you are truly providing a set of solid reasons why your customers should repeat — and refer — business with you.

Are your standards for your business as high as for what you watch on TV?

This morning, Bob Garfield — editor-at-large for MediaPost — posted a column discussing the change in the quality of television as opposed to movies.  It’s a terrific read about a conversation where Garfield’s daughter exclaims, “Dad, you don’t understand. TV is now better than movies.”

Later, however, Garfield quotes Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication.  In a streaming universe, Cole so eloquently observes:

“There is no longer any reason to watch crap.”

In other words, there is so much competition — and so many options available for customers (“viewers”) — there is just no reason for any of us to settle for less than extraordinary when we make our decisions about what we are going to invest our time in watching.

Imagine for a moment you are an executive at a television network — from a traditional one like NBC, to a cable network like A&E, or a streaming one like Netflix — and you have to decide what you will finance, create, market, and attempt to sell, both to advertisers and viewers.  In this hyper-competitive marketplace…could you afford to be anything less than committed to distinction?

Which leads us to the real problem in business:  We understand this phenomenon when it comes to television.  Yet, we keep doing it the way it’s always been done in our own organizations.  

We fail to realize these television viewers — who no longer have any reason to “watch crap” — are the SAME PEOPLE who no longer have any reason to buy a crap product or service — or be treated like crap when they do business with us!

So, it begs the question: Are the standards you are setting for your business — and yourself — as high as the standards you set for the programs you choose to watch on television?

And…if they aren’t…what are you going to do about it?  How are you going to create distinction in how you sell and serve your customer?

Privacy Policy