This is not another story about my UPS man, but it is related. (See Signature Selling) I had the privilege of going Pheasant Hunting in Kimball, South Dakota. I traveled with my father-in-law and brother-in-law, and a few others for a total of eight. Now there are more than hundred lodges across America from which to choose, and I happened upon this place called Wings of Thunder while surfing the internet. The plane travel would be somewhat easy and the daily price seemed right. After speaking with the proprietors on the phone, our date was set. We would hunt three days and spend four nights - in February in South Dakota. Cold!
The accommodations were comfortable and fun. We had a pool table, big screen TV, card tables and a restaurant style cooler for our beverages. The staff was courteous each and every day. They told us how things were and there were no changes. Each wonderful meal was served promptly whether you were there or not. Hunting each morning and afternoon was fun because the birds were plentiful. And during the times we didn't want to shoot birds, we could skeet shoot on a challenging course. The overall experience had us talking about the place for weeks. In short, we had fun and we will return. Upon reflecting on the trip, it wasn't that they blew us away with customer service, fed us good food or put us on thousands of birds. What made the trip a memorable experience was that they chose to do CERTAIN things extremely well, and others they didn't do at all! We were on our own getting to the place - no help there. If you wanted to skip a tasty meal, you waited until the next feeding time to eat. The staff was courteous, but they run a hunting lodge and expected the rules to be followed. Therefore, they were not very flexible, and not your best friends. After all, you're supposed to bring your friends with you. And the pricing was a bit high if you went over your daily limit of three birds. But we didn't travel 1,000 miles to shoot three birds, and they knew that.
Now this is not a commercial for Wings of Thunder, but more of a case study. It is evident that they strive for differentiating their lodge from the other lodges across South Dakota as well as the rest of the country. The overall experience is packaged as a spectacular Pheasant Hunt. Ok now, here are a few important questions that will require an answer by the time you finish reading this. What distinguishes YOUR business from everybody else in the financial services industry? How do you package your business that has people talking about you for weeks after they do business with you? And what makes people want to do business with you over and over again? If you can respond to those TODAY - you're set. If you don't have an immediate answer, then there is a lot of room for improvement in your practice. The neat thing is that making those improvements will pay immeasurable dividends in the long run. You just have to take the time to develop, communicate, package and deliver your distinguishing characteristics.
The best place to start is by calling your top five clients (who bought more than two times from you, not just earned you a big pay day) and asking why they do business with you. Take the time to listen and write down the answers they give you. Compile the answers from all five and there you have a foundation of why people like doing business with you, and no one else. Now you can start telling that story to prospects.
It is painfully obvious that what you offer in this wonderful financial service industry is a commodity - we can all buy insurance and invest our money with any licensed individual. What you MUST do is differentiate yourself. Wings of Thunder did. So much so that I wrote about it and will make it a priority to go back.
About Jay Stubbs
Jay Stubbs is an experienced Financial Services Sales Director and Qualifying Member of the Milion Dollar Round Table.
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