Being your customer's favorite supplier should be a primary goal. This goal is met by separating your company from the competition in a positive and meaningful way in the mind of the customer. What is meaningful to one customer, however, may not mean much to another. No two customers will share the same problems, needs, concerns or personalities; you must tailor your approach to address these unique factors.

Whatever the reasons, you can be sure they don't derive solely from the customer's regard for a particular salesperson. Also entering the picture will be his perception of overall quality, as well as the responsiveness of the service and other support he will receive. As an individual, you can make a difference, but you must also be backed by quality products, real value and dedicated support. For you to achieve consistent success, your entire company must focus on the customer's satisfaction.

In other words, because customers are different, you must be different in your approach. This is a tall order and demands good listening skills and powers of observation, a strong sense of empathy and a dose of creativity.

Remember, in a competitive environment, many of the values you can offer your competitors can offer as well. To think otherwise is foolish.

Differentiation, therefore, is as much a matter of changing or reinforcing customer perception as it is highlighting the real differences that exist. This effort requires more than simply talking about all the wonderful things you can do.

You must sell your customers on the value they will receive as a result. You must come through after the sale by doing everything you promised. And, finally, you must be sure your customers know what you have done so they will remember it the next time they buy.

Got an Item for Bulletin Board?

It's easy to have your company included in the pages of Electrical Wholesaling's Bulletin Board. It's as simple as submitting a description and photographs.

Some of the subjects covered in Bulletin Board include:

  • Charitable Events/Donations
  • Product Promotions
  • Contests
  • Distributor Support/Training
  • Ground Breakings
  • Industry Awards/Recognitions

Send pertinent information to Sarah Tobaben Dolash, Managing Editor, 9800 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS 66212. Or you may e-mail information to sdolash@primediabusiness.com. All electronic photos should be in “jpg,” “tif” or “eps” format at no less than 300 dots per inch. Questions? Call (913) 967-1796.