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Tell a story and identify your company’s differentiator

If your business has few or no competitors, finding your differentiator is easy. But if you’re like most businesses, you have at least a handful or perhaps tons of competitors. Uncovering what makes your organization unique can be a struggle…sometimes it takes years.

Superior quality, off-the-chart customer service, award-winning talent, “we care and get the job done” are common phrases used to describe organizations. “We work hard” is a common reply, when I ask clients what their differentiator is.

Don’t answer the differentiator question. First, tell a story.

If you run a thriving business, you have success stories to share. Dig deep into those stories and you will identify what your company does differently from your competitor—your differentiator.

When I heard the “we-work-hard” differentiator, I asked my client to talk specifics. After drilling down and discussing specific procedures, structures and approaches on which their success is built, “hard work” translated into the amount of time they spend listening and asking questions. That is what made them unique in their industry. That was their differentiator.

Here’s how to do it:
  1. Identify three success stories that align perfectly with what your company does best.
  2. Dissect the story by evaluating the processes and results that led to the success and ask why.
  3. Identify consistent key patterns or behaviors and synthesize them to discover your differentiator.
  4. Consistently and boldly promote your new discovery through all types of communications.
Before the end of this year, carve out time to discover your company’s true differentiator and start using it next year to truly distinguish your business.
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