It’s All About The Special Sauce

Why would someone use your services versus the services of a company across the street – or the world?

Why would someone visit your web site (repeatedly) instead of your competition?

Why would someone happily pay you $200 per hour when companies on the web offer services at $ 75 per hour -billed in 1/4 hour increments to a credit card.

The answer can be summed up in two words.

There’s currently a trend that seems oddly out of place. Whether it’s in the area of SEO (search engine optimization) or simply the services that ERP consultants offer – and how they offer them – the trend is to copy and pray.

Copy and Pray is not the two word strategy that I recommend for you.

ERP firms that want to grow and expand need a far better strategy than copy and pray.

Copy and pray has been used by VARS  nervously clawing their way through the biggest three year downturn that the industry has ever seen.

New license sales are a disaster — at least for VARS who are taking the time to understand a customer’s needs.

The Internet is exploding as a new resource that nearly all customers use to research both products and consulting firms.

Devoid of much original thought – most VARS are simply jumping on a bandwagon.

They hope that by imitating their competition they’ll exceed their results.

Does that thinking ever work? Perhaps in the short term VARS will succeed by copying the web postings of their closest competitors in a bid to increase search rank and visibility.

Longer term the real victories – and profits – go to those who can uniquely deliver value to their customers – be it in person or in the form of information delivered via the Internet.

It’s All About The Special Sauce You Add

The two important words you need to know?

Special Sauce.

Years ago the fast food restaurants battled each other for market share. One famous TV add proclaimed that the burger from one particular food chain contained essentially the same as a burger from another – save for one thing.

That one thing was the “special sauce”.

You couldn’t order a burger from restaurant X that was exactly the same as restaurant Y — because the second restaurant was adding in their own ingredient which made their burger unique – and exclusive.

The result? There was no pricing comparison between X and Y.

Restaurant Y added their own exclusive “special sauce” making the hamburger their own unique creation. Because the creation was unique – they priced it uniquely. And anyone who wanted that type of hamburger had to frequent restaurant Y.

The same concept is true for everything you do whether it’s a service offering – or a web site.

Distinguish yourself from competitors by being unique. By adding value to the relationship. By working damn hard to ensure that the services you (or your company) offer go beyond simply mimicking the competition.

It’s only when you have a unique service offering that you can offer $200 an hour instead of steadily retreating until your hourly rate is no better than the $ 75 every other VAR charges in your area.

The Dumb Solution To Doing As Well As Your Competition

Want to make the same (lousy) rate that most other VAR charges?

Copy and Pray.

Want the same type of (lousy) web site traffic as your competition?

Copy and Pray.

In most cases you’re going to get the same – or slightly worse – results. What’s most overlooked in these copycat situations is that you never truly know how well the competition is doing.

In all likelihood you’re mimicking a competitor whose not doing as well as they could.

The Smart Solution To Outperforming Your Competition

Two words summarize the way you can run circles around your competition.

Hustle Smarter.

Don’t merely imitate the competition – improve upon their performance by adding your own special sauce to the mix of everything you do.

The first step is to determine what’s unique about your company. What one area do you perform exceptionally well in. Are you an ace custom report writer? Do you enjoy helping customers improve business processes? Can you work with bookkeepers and clean up irreconcilable messes?

Whatever you do that’s unique or better – add it to your service offerings. Broadcast it on your web site.

Make it your special sauce.

By copying the competition – you’ll rarely exceed their results.

By creating a “special sauce” – you’ll create a unique reason for customers to use your services. This reason cannot be easily replicated by competitors. It’s the best way to exceed your competitors.

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Comments

  1. Good stuff, as always, Wayne! But you forgot the “two all beef patties, onions, cheese, lettuce and sesame seed bun.” Heck, they even gave the whole ingredient list away but it was the “special sauce” that was the differentiator!

    • Dave there’s a whole post in your comment — why McDonalds gives it’s complete ingredient list – save for one item – and never worries about losing a sale.

Trackbacks

  1. […] spoken at length about how Sage Business Partners need to get local with their customers and develop their own special sauce to clearly differentiate and add value to their firm’s own services. Sage themselves over the […]