Line up 10 real estate agents and ask them to give you their elevator pitches. Which one is the best?
If you’re not in real estate I bet you couldn’t tell. Real estate experts will pick up on subtle details, nuanced definitions and client examples to easily assess who’s the real deal. But a real estate agent’s customers are not experts, or they wouldn’t pay someone to help them navigate the real estate market.
The same is true for customers in every market, including yours– they’re likely not experts in what you’re trying to sell them. As a result, it’s almost impossible for them to discern which service provider provides the highest quality.
In other words, it’s tough to stand out when your super powers are invisible.
While customers can’t tell you whose abilities are better, it’s easy for them to identify which ones are unique. Imagine you’re walking down the street trying to choose a restaurant…there are ten Italian restaurants in a row, and finally a sushi restaurant emerges. Without Foursquare or Yelp it would be very difficult to tell which Italian restaurant was the best, but choosing the sushi restaurant would be a no-brainer if you didn’t want Italian.
If you wanted to open a restaurant on that street, what cuisine would you choose? It seems relatively obvious that another Italian restaurant will get lost in the crowd, so you should venture for a taco truck, American cuisine or a French bistro. But most business owners and marketers don’t apply the same logic to their own companies. Rather than work to stand out, they do their best to blend in with the competition, wondering why they aren’t generating more revenue and constantly compete on price.
Remember: work to be perceived as different rather than better. You will find more customers and demand higher margins.