A while ago I was talking with a new friend who also
happens to be a pretty smart guy. As we were talking about ways to attract more
customers, he said something that really got my attention:
You need to be
He went on to say that too many companies offer too much
of the same thing these days. It seems everyone uses the same playbook. Too few
people are willing to stray from the pack.
When a potential customer is confronted with a mushy
mass of competing choices that are hard to tell apart, they’ll either turn
around and leave in disgust or they’ll separate their choices by price. If you
don’t give your customer a reason to believe you’re better than the competition,
they’ll assume you’re not. And then they’ll judge you on price and not much
This happens because people are scared to be different.
They do “what’s always worked” because it’s always worked in the past. The same
logic applies to “everyone else is doing it” so it must work. You see this in
most industries and professions.
You see it with auto dealers who keep spending huge
amounts of money on newspaper ads when they know such ads are losing their
effectiveness and more car buyers are using the Internet.
You see it with meetings and conferences where they
insist on speakers with industry experience above all else. Or Industries that
only hire people with a certain number of years in the industry.
The “follow the herd” mentality runs strong and deep in
our business culture. Sure in a lot of cases it’s useful. But it becomes an
obstacle when you don’t realize that it’s controlling much of your decision
making. That’s when you find your offerings, your policies, your messages and
your entire customer experience becomes not much different than your
If you want a steady stream of new customers, returning
customers and referred customers, give them a reason. Show them your company is
different than the rest. Show them how and why you’re better. Do it in a way
that interests them – in terms of what you do for them.
Don’t be afraid to be different. Stray from the herd.
Chart your own course. Stand for something that moves you away from the crowd.
Do that and you’ll be amazed at how many people will be thrileld to do business