I was recently hired by a major regional bank in Ohio to help them differentiate their services.
Banks, in case you haven’t heard, have a lot of challenges these days.
Few of them enjoy any kind of unique, individual reputation; most banks have been grouped into what many consider to be the “Evil Empire.”
During the program, I compared banks to restaurants.
So many eateries harm their reputations and profits by not differentiating. Oddly, most restaurants do the opposite when they practice “group think” and copy concepts, protocols, or scripts that don’t work.
For example, the standard “two for dinner?” greeting could be easily upgraded to make guests feel special.
Dropping the entree on the table and saying, “Enjoy,” is not a good way to improve the presentation.
How about when the server checks in during the meal to ask, “Is everything okay?” which is like asking, “Is everything average?”
Restaurants, banks, and other businesses are very concerned about having the lowest price. Price is important, but it’s not usually the most important reason people buy. One way to differentiate price is to stop worrying about the lowest price and start being concerned about presenting the best value.
Here are two ways to differentiate price:
1) Push back against price inquiries. Delay giving your price until you have a short conversation with the customer. This extra time will help you establish rapport, build trust, gather information, and present a proper value proposition.
2) Never give a price without naming a benefit. Since many product/service providers just give a price, you will be differentiating your offering in a very positive way.
Differentiating the “thank you”
Finally, how you say “thank you” can easily separate you from the competition. The “thank you” doesn’t have to be expensive. A handwritten card is so unusual these days that the gesture is sure to stand out.
Do you have the courage to be different from the competition? Please comment if you’ve had success with product or service differentiation.
Note #1: Part 2 of Do you have the courage to be different?, features a great story of how my newspaper delivery person accidentally provided differentiation that immediately resulted in bigger tips.
Note #2: Learn more about Michael’s live programs and information products at www.MichaelAngeloCaruso.com.