I remember attending one of my very first networking events where entrepreneurs exchanged leads. I sat there eagerly waiting on my turn. I had rehearsed my elevator pitch and had it down to a pat. However, being the good little networker, I wanted to make sure I took good notes and listened intently to what others had to say.
- First, an insurance agent. He had years of experience, put customers first, and was very knowledgeable.
- Next, a real estate agent. She put customers first, was very knowledgeable, and she had years of experience
- Then it was the financial advisor’s turn. He had years of experience, was very knowledgeable, and put customers first.
Seriously. It happened just like that. Then an I.T. professional, mortgage broker, and consultant basically gave the same elevator pitch. And one of them told a joke. A lame joke:(
After 45 minutes, I had a fistful of business cards of people in different industries and couldn’t tell you the difference in any of them.
What is the difference between you and your competition? If you don’t know, you can bet your customer doesn’t know either.
Are you faster, more flexible, more creative, are you truly the expert in this industry, are you available 24/7, offer a unique technology, serve a particular customer, have the best partnerships, ship faster, deliver sooner, etc.?
It doesn’t need to be all of these things. One will do. Just make sure to do it well. And once you identify it, build your brand around it and make yourself stand out in a crowd.
If you don’t find a distinct competitive advantage, you won’t find more business. You will simply find more mediocrity.
Check out what Barry Associates did to start the process of letting potential clients know they are different.