One of the biggest challenges facing small business owners is “How do I distinguish myself from my competitors?”
The answer is simple, and so, there is no shortage of people toiling to make it complicated.
To stand out, dedicate yourself to your customers. Care more about helping them than you do about making money. The company that cares more will understand more. And the company that understands the customer’s world will think up ideas that will impact their world. In other words, they will stand out.
If you really care, you will even ask questions that risk making you look bad, because it serves the greater purpose of helping your customers.
A CPA once asked my advice on attracting more large company clients to his firm.
“Simple,” I said. “Go to the larger clients you already work with and ask questions like: “Why did you start working with my firm?” “Why have you continued working with my firm?” “What should we understand about you and your company so we can be even more valuable to you?”
He hesitated. “But won’t I be opening the door for complaints?”
“Well, that may happen with some,” I said. “But if negative feelings are there, isn’t it better that you know about it so you can correct it? Otherwise they’ll pick up and go without ever giving you a second chance.”
He couldn’t bring himself to ask his clients these kinds of questions and so he will forever be guessing as to what is most important to them.
To stand out usually doesn’t need great genius so much as great discipline and courage. If you’ve been shirking from difficult conversations it is hurting your business.
Innovation, once you get past the buzzwords and the hype, is simple if you really care and aren’t afraid of difficult conversations.
About The Guest Author: Dov Gordon helps small company CEOs build such loyal employees and life-long customers, that even their competitors enviously spread their renown.