If a high-level prospect or potential center of influence asked you, “What makes you different?”. Would you have an immediate, succinct, and confident answer?
Do you struggle or are you clear and confident?
And does what makes you different matter? Is it a differentiation that brings a real and obvious benefit?
You see, only differences that matter… matter.
5 Broad Categories of Differentiation
Keep in mind that these are not mutually exclusive. Perhaps you can apply more than one of these categories to your business.
1. You Focus on a Target Market
When you focus on a target market, your value is often perceived immediately because of the questions you ask and the concepts you choose to discuss. When you focus on a specific market, you can demonstrate immediate empathy for their challenges and opportunities, often bringing solutions that a generalist just can’t offer. I’ve written about the benefits of targeting a narrow market many times in the past and will continue to do so.
2. Your Expertise or Specialization
People like to work with experts and specialists. Expertise can come from formal education, certifications, and years of experience. Don’t be timid about emphasizing your expertise and how you specialize.
3. Your Process for Discovering and Revealing Problems and Opportunities
Employing a comprehensive approach to discussing your prospects’ and clients’ problems can be a great source of value. For example, your discovery process might reveal problems and opportunities that were previously hidden to the prospect. Your discovery process can bring value quickly in a new relationship by getting prospects to think in ways they haven’t before.
4. Your Process for Customizing and Delivering Solutions
Once you conduct a comprehensive discovery process and truly know the context in which you find prospects and clients, you are in position to bring truly customized remedies to their problems and help maximize their opportunities.
5. Your Process for Adding Continual Value to Clients
One of your points of differentiation may stem from how you continually bring value to your clients. While some of these points might be included in your core offering, others may be value-added items that surprise and delight clients, such as client- appreciation events. Communicating your client service promise to prospects can often be the tipping point that turns that person into a client.
Name Your Process
Does your process have a name? One way to create immediate differentiation is to name your process. If you created the process, then only you have it. Instant differentiation. If you use a process developed by someone else, that’s fine. While it may not be unique, certainly not just anyone can offer that process.
A Few Final Thoughts
Are there other ways to stand out from others? Of course! Can you have more than one point of differentiation. You bet!
Just be sure to communicate your points of differentiation in a way that is meaningful to others, that demonstrates real value.
Related: 4 Strategies to Become Irreplaceable