By Tom Reilly
All products are the same … except for the ways in which they are different.
Questions of differentiation focus on the chasm between you and the competition.
- What differentiates your product: packaging, usage, longevity, user-friendliness, energy consumption, size, reliability, brand name?
- What makes your company stand out: depth and breadth of services, inventory levels, ease of doing business, management philosophy, locations, logistics, or industry expertise?
- What makes your people special: attitude toward customers, teamwork, commitment to their work, engagement in the process of delivering value, or integrity?
Value comes from total customer experience, not just products. Your total customer experience is the combination of your products, from your company, and supported by your people. This combination is a unique customer experience and differentiated solution. No other competitive solution is exactly the same as your unique solution. So, the next time someone asks what makes your stuff different, answer them, “We make it different.”
Tom Reilly is literally the guy who wrote the book on Value-Added Selling (McGraw-Hill).