In times like this, when never been more information for sales people and service professionals today, ironically some of the best service companies and their people struggle to differentiate themselves from the pack. To be blunt, most of what these companies do amounts to “lip service” about how they are different and better with no real action that proves their claims. Results never lie. If your fanny hurts after a sales or service opportunity, you’re probably getting your butt kicked by your competitor. I have outlined “3 Reasons Why You’re Getting Your Butt kicked” to help you see where you could improve. After reading this can you see any other things as well? Please read this then comment…
1. Acting Like Your Competitor
Consumers call several service professionals for one reason. They are looking for clarity. After seeing all the service people who march through their home they are most often left confused due to everyone looking more or less the same. Think about it. Just because you dress differently or have nicer trucks, those that fail tend to follow the same process the other companies are following. Let me give you an example.
Same Ole Company A – ” Let’s go to the kitchen table so I can ask you a few questions ”
Different Company B – ” John where would you like to start today? ”
Same Ole Company A – ” We can definitely install the equipment tomorrow. ”
Different Company B – ” Who in your family would suffer if we didn’t replace it? “
Same Ole Company A – ” Let me know what Janet says, call me back when you’re ready. “
Different Company B – ” How can we make sure you both have equal access to the information? “
Same Ole Company A – ” We sell (INSERT BRAND NAME)
Different Company B – ” We don’t sell boxes. 95% of what we do is our custom service for your family. “
If there is one rule you should follow, that would be to stop acting and doing what your competitor would do. Say and more importantly DO things differently than your competitor and you are on your way.
2. Solutions Are The Same As Competitors
Nothing confuses consumers more than talking about how good your company is then showing them products that are the same as your competitor. Focus on your services and “what you do” rather than on the equipment and “what box and model number it is.” Help the buyer imagine not only owning what you have to offer, but also help them imagine what it will be like after they have it AND also what improvement it will mean in their personal lives. Here is an example…
Same Ole Company A – “ This Carrier 58MXX0100-1CC 96% efficient furnace will save you money.”
Different Company B – ” This is our Joe’s Service Signature System. This will give you a 36% higher return on investment than your old system. That will amount to saving over $8,000 in the next ten years. I’d like you to take the extra money and use it towards your son Johnny’s college tuition that you said was so important to both of you.”
When presenting your solutions to customers, make them relevant to them. Information based on the product will never be able to sustain a competitive advantage simply because your competitor is doing the same thing. Allow your client to imagine how this service will impact their daily lives. Nothing will create more differentiation than when you focus on your customer and not on your equipment.
3. Using “Retreads” Instead Of Breakthroughs
Clients certainly know what they have in mind when they call to get prices on purchasing from you. To create differentiation, 95% of your solutions should focus on new ideas that your client never considered. Stop using “Retread” ideas and outdated solutions and start thinking “outside the box.” When competitors are focusing on the equipment, you should focus on things like the how the service plan will save them time by not having to do self-maintenance. Or how you would rather see the duct system upgraded or “right-sized” before they consider any new equipment.
Dare To Be Different
If you want to differentiate your service from competitors you have to stand for something. Be the company that will not move forward when asked to do things wrong from a communications as well as an engineering standpoint. When you tell a potential client that you’d just as soon not do this job if it meant doing it wrong, you have arrived at creating clarity. In the consumers mind they are saying, “That’s the kind of person I want to do business with.”