1. Work out what you do best and do it well
You are never going to be able to solve everyone’s problems so don’t make this your goal. Instead, identify what it is you do well and focus on making it world class.
2. Build your personal brand
This is crucial and will go a long way to helping you stand out. In today’s age of social connectivity, the focus is most often on the people so it’s important to take an active role in how you’re portrayed online and how that relates to your company.
Start blogging, take speaking opportunities, appear on podcasts and go to networking events to become the face behind your brand. If you can find ways to add genuine value to your industry and position yourself as an expert, you can create opportunities that a traditional sales approach wouldn’t.
3. Be a winner
Get some wins on the board and share them with your community. Find pitch nights or industry awards to enter – the free PR and exposure can go a long way.
4. Get a flagship customer or customers
The key here is to not set your sights too low when you’re starting out. There is no reason not to approach a big corporation and if you’ve done the groundwork to build your network and credibility, getting those big meetings can come easier than you might think. Speak at or attend events where you know you can meet the key people – it’s much more effective than cold calls or emails to get those initial customers.
5. Provide exceptional customer service, always
Be a company that people want to work with. Many new customers have come to us through a referral from an existing customer. They like our product, but we often hear it’s our customer service that really makes the difference.
Listen to what your customers have to say so you can understand where their problems are and how you can work together to solve them. This can be as simple as picking up the phone and asking a customer for feedback. Whether you’re offering B2B services or a consumer product, building trust and respect with your customers will help you stand head and shoulders above your competitors.
There are many opportunities to get ahead of your competition and attract the customers and talent you need. Every business is operating in a competitive industry so it’s important to face it head on and devise the strategies that will help you stand out.