How to stand out from the Crowd

The longer I live the longer I come to this conclusion on how you can stand out from the crowd and differentiate yourself from your competitors. Whether in your business or personal life.

what-makes-your-company-unique2

And it amazes me how simple this concept is.

It is something that everyone can do.

It is something that doesn’t add anything to your expenses.

It isn’t even something that requires a ton of intelligence.

But yet, the number of people who are doing it is surprisingly low.

So what is it?

Do what you say you are going to do when you said you were going to do it!!!

Sounds like an easy concept to grasp. But it is not often practiced.

Think of it this way, when someone promises to do something and fails to follow through on that promise we get frustrated.

Why is this?

I believe Paster Dave Ralph (Lakeside Church) said it best when he said,

“Frustration happens when we have a gap between expectations and reality.”

Let me explain; When you promise to do something, you set an expectation in the other person’s mind (whether it is your prospect, your customer, your spouse, your kids, your boss or even yourself).

When you don’t live up to that promise and come up short, you have let that person down. They will trust you a little less and you have damaged the relationship.

But when you live up to your promise, you built that trust and enhance your relationship.

“When you exceed your customers expectations your customer will be delighted.”

– Jim Clemmer, Author, Speaker, Leadership Guru

The reason for this is that they can now count on you and when they can count on you, you become less of a risk. The cool thing is that most of the time you get to choose.

Choose wisely and stand out from the crowd, enhance your relationships and increase your sales.

How to Stand out from the Crowd – Part 2

In my last post https://relmes.wordpress.com/2009/09/09/how-to-stand-out-from-the-crowd/ I was talking about an amazingly simple way to differentiate yourself from your competition.

Here it is:

Do what you say you are going to do when you said you were going to do it!!!

Sounds like an easy concept to grasp. But it is not often practiced.

Think of it this way, when someone promises to do something and fails to follow through on that promise we get frustrated.

Why is this?

I believe paster Dave Ralph http://www.lakesidechurch.on.ca/contact/contactbios.php said it best when he said, “Frustration happens when we have a gap between expectations and reality.”

Let me explain; When you promise to do something, you set an expectation in the other person’s mind. Whether it is your prospect, your customer, your spouse, your kids, your boss or even yourself.

When you don’t live up to that promise and come up short, you have let that person down.  They will trust you a little less and you have damaged the relationship.

But when you live up to your promise, you built that trust and enhance your relationship.

“When you exceed your customers expectations your customer will be delighted.” – Jim Clemmer http://www.jimclemmer.com/

The cool thing is that most of the time you get to choose.

When you choose wisely, you will definately stand out from the crowd.

Because you will enhance your relationships, and in the case of your customers, they will buy more from you in the future, because they can count on you and when they can count on you, you become less of a risk.

How to Upset Your Customers for 2 Cents or Less

As I walked away stunned. I remember feeling frustrated by what I had just experienced.

We had been looking forward to this day for a while. For our birthdays, my Mom gave my son Jacob and I tickets to today’s baseball game between The Toronto Blue Jays http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com (our favorite team) and the Seattle Mariners http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com at the Rogers Centre  http://www.rogerscentre.com/in Toronto.

What frustrated me was not the 90 minute drive to the park or the $6.00 hot dogs or $4.25 that I spent for a bottle of diet coke. No what upset me was what happened after the game.

A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of working on a major nationwide research study of customer retention and rejection behaviours for one of the big three automotive manufactures. And after studying the mountains of data (65 pages in 8 point font) that we collected from our mystery shoppers our #1 conclusion was that it takes a lot of little things to produce a satisfied customer, but only one thing (which we informally called piss-off factors) to frustrate that customer and prevent them from making a purchase.

Our experience at the ball park was for the most part a positive one.

For instance: we were treated to a pretty entertaining game (although our Jays lost 5-1) and we had fun doing the wave, almost catching a foul ball.

And my son watched in amazement as he handed his money (O.K. it was my money) over to a complete stranger and watch as it was passed from one stranger to another down our row and then our pop and the exact change came back through to us. (This only happens at ball parks)

So for the most part the day was a big hit. We had fun, we enjoyed each others company and spent a wonderful day in the sunshine.

That was until we stopped at a souvenir stand on the way out.

My son pulled looked in the display case and decided that he wanted to spend some of his birthday money on a mini wooden baseball bat. We got the clerks attention, she got his bat out of the display case and rang up his purchase. She then told him how much it was and he dug into his little black leather change pouch to get her the money. He paid her and he was to receive 22 cents back in change. However, the clerk said to him, “Your change is 22 cents, however I am all out of pennies so I can only give you 20 cents back.”

Jacob, who was so focused on getting his new bat, took the money and then waited for me to complete my purchase. I watched this and thought, “That was strange, usually when someone can’t make the right change they would err in the favour of the customer by giving more change (ie. 25 cents back instead of 20).”

But instead of saying anything, I thought I would give her one more chance to make it right, by deliberately giving exact change for my purchase (including 4 pennies). This way she would have the opportunity to take two of those pennies and give them back to their rightful owner (my son).

Now what do you think she did?

What would you do?

Would you do what I hoped she would do and give him the 2 cents back (he was standing right there with me and it was obvious that we were together), or would you do as she did, which was to do nothing.

And I know what you may be thinking. It was only 2 cents. But that is not the point.

The point is that we all have a service expectation (receiving the right change) when we make a purchase and when that expectation is not met, we become frustrated.

So in the words of my pastor Dave Ralph http://www.lakesidechurch.on.ca/contact/contactbios.php#dr

“Frustration happens when expectations don’t meet reality.”

A couple other examples of this principle could be:

  • when the waiter asks you if you want change when you go to pay the bill (which in my book automatically cancels any tip they were going to receive), or
  • when an automotive sales consultant doesn’t set the expectation in your mind of how long it will take to pick up your new vehicle.

Remember every point of contact with a customer serves as a moment of truth.

Every point of contact is an opportunity to delight, serve or frustrate your customer.

And that is why every point of contact should be taken seriously.

Because 2 cents (or less) is not worth (pissing off) and losing a customer over.

Hey, I wonder what the folks in Marketing, who spend many hours (and thousands of dollars) trying to figure our how to get me into the ball park would think of this experience.