Archive for October, 2010

Differentiate Your Business from the Competition

10_-competition-getty-image All businesses have competition. It may be a business down the street, across town, in another state or even another country. The competition might appear on the internet or in a catalogue. Sometimes the toughest competition is lack of knowledge the business even exists! But NOT all businesses are the same—even if the product or services appear to be the same. Each business provides something unique. The challenge is to know and communicate clearly just what it is that sets your business apart from the competition.

Clarity in these three areas will set your business apart from the competition:

1.      Specialization: You cannot be all things to all customers. Too many businesses make the mistake of trying to offer too many products or services to too many types of customers at too many prices in too many ways. What does YOUR business specialize in?

a. Products/services? Both you AND your customers must be clear about your specialization. What products or services do youbehavior provide to your market . . . really well?

b. Serving a specific market or customer? All-State Legal Supply specializes in providing law firms with all the paper products they need to operate efficiently. McDonalds specializes in providing fast food to people who want to eat quickly and conveniently. What customers are you serving?

c. Geographical Area? Your neighborhood, city, state, country or the entire world. In what geographical area do you specialize?


2.      Segmentation: Clearly define and identify the customers who are ideal for what you sell. Who are they, where are they, when and how do they buy, what value do they want from you, and what benefit is most important to them?


standout3.      Differentiation: Often referred to as Competitive Advantage, Area of Excellence, and Unique Selling Proposition (USP). You have one but can you articulate it time and time again? Being able to differentiate your business and communicate it clearly and concisely is perhaps the most important of all.  What is the one thing you do better than anyone else? What do you offer that is truly unique to you and your business?  What really sets you and your business apart?


Once you have clarity in these areas, focus your resources (time, energy, money and team) on those prospective customers who are most likely to buy from you. Let them know what “Differentiates Your Business from the Competition”!

Get a “Differentiating Your Business Checklist” at under LINKS.

Posted in Business Improvement, Communication, Sales | No Comments »

Know Your Audience

How many times have you lost an important negotiation and wondered why?

It could be because you are communicating the same way to everyone. But you could be missing as much as 75% of your opportunities by doing this.

Everyone receives information differently. Everyone receives information differently. Behavior, personality, environment, skills, role, and emotions all affect how people give and receive information. However, it is possible to increase your communication success with the people you are currently missing the mark with by taking into consideration who you are talking to. 

These guidelines will improve your ability to get the message across to anyone by simply observing behavior first. When you observe someone who is:

bald-eagleDecisive, tough, impatient, strong-willed, competitive, demanding, independent, direct, does not listen

DO: give immediate feedback, concentrate on the subject, focus on the results

DON’T: frustrate desire to take action, restrict power, spend time on non- essentials

COMMUNICATION  TIPS: pick up the pace; be direct, brief and to the point; stick to business; use a logical approach; focus on results, not tactics; identify opportunities and challenges; do not touch or get too close; do not be emotional; act quickly; let him/her win

peacock1Sociable, talkative, open, enthusiastic, energetic, persuasive, spontaneous, emotional, talks more than listens

DO: show enthusiasm, smile, chat, focus on the positive, make it fun, let him/her talk

DON’T: discourage enthusiasm, focus on the details, react negatively

COMMUNICATION TIPS: allow time for socializing; have fun; ask for feelings and opinions; create a friendly environment, be friendly and warm; give recognition; talk about people and feelings; use touch (forearm, back)

doveCalm, steady, laid back, careful, patient, amiable, listens carefully, is sincere, modest, indecisive and trustworthy

DO: slow down, take your time, provide assurance and support, give enough time to decide

DON’T: be restless or impatient, press for action, make sudden changes, fail to deliver on promises

COMMUNICATION TIPS: be patient, build trust, draw out opinions, present issues logically, relax and allow time for discussion, show how solutions benefit him/her, define all areas, provide plenty of information, secure commitment step-by-step, involve him/her in the planning

owlPrecise, exact, analytical, logical, systematic, quiet, careful, formal, disciplined, does not express emotions

DO: give details, answer all questions patiently, give time to think and decide

DON’T: keep information to yourself, pressure for decisions, be too chatty

COMMUNICATION TIPS: use data/facts, stay on task, focus on quality, use proven ideas, do not touch, be patient, slow down, avoid personal issues, explain clearly and carefully


Once you identify your audience, apply these simple communication approaches and watch your success begin to soar!

Posted in Basics, Communication, Sales | 5 Comments »