Having no unique product - The differentiation
|Unique Challenges of Business-to-Business
Service Providers: Part 1
All companies have their challenges and my clients’ businesses
are no different. In talking to them and through my own studies
and experience, I believe five unique challenges stand out and
are common for business-to-business service providers. While clearly
each individual business can have specific problems related to
changing markets, problem staff, new legislation, price wars, etc.
etc., every B2B service provider will face and must address these “five
unique challenges”: having no unique product – a reliance
on people to deliver – being regarded as an overhead – building
trust – conveying compelling sales propositions.
While service providers may enjoy the advantage of not having
to invest in their product development departments and wait months
or years for new products to “roll off the assembly line”,
they are disadvantaged in not having something unique for their
customers to see and hold. How can the accountancy firm, legal
practice, computer maintenance company or contract cleaning agency
stand out and differentiate themselves from the herd?
The precise answer varies, as each business operates in differing
environments and markets. But the best approach I believe for the
vast majority of firms is specialisation. Commit to being different
and develop a niche. Build a reputation in a particular field and
aim to be the best. Too often people are scared of developing a
specialisation, because they fear losing the “general” business.
This is rarely the case. The business consultant, who specialises
in strategic planning, will be asked to consult in other areas
because of the results he delivers. The architect who specialises
in, say, hospital work will gain other commissions because of this,
not in spite of it. People always remember and talk about experts,
Over the coming months, think how you can be different from your
competitors. Become a leader (not a follower).
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and whether it’s right for you, call 0845 658 0940
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