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Sunday, November 09, 2008

The difference

The thought behind this modest thread on is intriguing and important.

"How do you market your business as being different from the rest? What makes your business different from your competitors?, Booga writes in his introductory post. "When a client asks you, 'What makes you different?' or 'Why should I choose you?', how do you answer for yourself?"
Aha, this poster, who doesn't identify where he is from but provides this image on his profile page, is touching on one of the most important questions in marketing: Differentiation.

The basic principal is that if you are one of the crowd, if you are a 'me too' provider, you won't get much business. The idea is to create a unique and strongly influential identity, and then clients will be more predisposed to doing business with you.

But the responses Booga has received so far suggest that high-powered differentiation finds second place to, for want of a better word, validating your reputation.

GeneCarp ( says his differentiation is:
1/going the extra mile regarding cleanup and job site condition
2/daily calls with progress reports
3/frequent appearances on the job site
4/normal, clean cut, personable employees
5/a genuine and sincere concern for the comfort and satisfaction of you and your family
DavidC writes:
The condensed version is, you should expect a biased answer from me. If you really want to know you should call a few of our references. (the list is provided on the first visit) They'll tell you what it was like for them to work with us.
Dave Mac responds:
I would rather show you then tell you!! Here are four pages of references ask them, here is my bid package lets go over the project.
So what do we see here? It may be obvious, but it is one of the mantras of this blog: Do a great job, treat your clients well, and help your former clients share the good news through word-of-mouth recommendations, and you'll achieve the basics for marketing success.

But, realistically, you need to add something extra to the mix unless you are content to remain small, local, and somewhat vulnerable. Effective marketing is largely about magnifying things so that your pool of potential clients is large enough that you never lack for profitable work (and if you have effective business systems you can scale your marketing methods and best practices depending on the economic environment.

What is your difference?

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