Being shoeless was just a one-time happening that became the lifelong nickname of baseball great, Joe Jackson. Do you know exactly how he got his nickname?

During a baseball game, Joe was suffering from blisters from new cleats, and they hurt so much that he took his shoes off before an at bat. As play continued, a heckling fan noticed Jackson running to third base in his socks, and shouted “You shoeless son of a gun, you!” and the resulting nickname “Shoeless Joe” stuck with him throughout his life!

It’s amazing how quickly a nickname can define you as a person. This was not something that Joe had planned or was proud of, but it definitely differentiated him from other baseball players. Do you / your company have characteristics that differentiate you? Do you think that technology and exceptional customer service help you stand out from your competitors? I would challenge you to look differently, since much is expected in today’s business world.

To help you stand out, here are three ways you can differentiate yourself to your target audience:

  1. No matter the situation, be flexible. Each customer experience is different. They may seem the same in nature, but in each situation, you need to be flexible enough to build a rapport with the customer. Some may want you to get right to fixing their problem, while others may want to discuss fully what you will be doing and how you will be working with them.
  2. Be knowledgeable, but not arrogant. Customers want to know that you are knowledgeable. However, if you offer a variety of products / services, you must focus on your primary revenue generators. Be sure to organize / prioritize your services or products in ways that customers will understand – not you or your employees.
  3. Don’t be a stalker, but be approachable. When you begin lead generating exercises, seek information about the company/customer that will build a connection, then be personable. Example: if you perform an online search and find that the contact you are meeting with loves the Cincinnati Reds, then be sure to incorporate this into your meeting. Personalizing experiences makes you more memorable and approachable when the time comes.

These three characteristics (flexible, knowledgeable and approachable) will help to differentiate you, build a stronger relationship and identify you as an approachable resource for the prospect. But, no matter what you do, do not become “Shoeless” or try something out of the norm to stand out.

If you aren’t sure what your differentiators are, ask for help. Marketing with Class consultants can lead a facilitated discussion that will help unveil your value proposition and differentiators.