What They Have…”Not” How I Benefit

I learned so much when I stopped to read this vendor banner today at a manufacturer’s expo.

  • I learned that this company has…….wait for it: “sales reps.”
  • And they have…”customer support services”
  • And that they’re here to “partner with me” on the phone, online, or in-person.

Wow–I’m switching all my business over to them right away. Not.

If we’re gong to stand out and speak to our potential buyers–use a voice that matters to them. Speak to their bottle necks, pain points, liability areas, and profit compression.

Show how you can make your prospect’s life easier, safer, or more profitable.

How Do You Stand Out?

Hot dogs. Do you know how to stand out and create “raving fans” when you run a hot dog shop? Or any other business? You do what I saw the other day at Hot Dogs of Santa Cruz in Roseville, CA.

I had 20 minutes to kill before an appointment and hadn’t had lunch so I stopped at this place (my wife’s going to frown on this), I’d never been before because…well–I was hungry and I love hot dogs.


The Greeting…The man greeting the customer before me (an older man) said cheerfully “Hello young man.” Then he greeted me (not that old), with “Hello young man.” Point? It stands out, was humorous, and memorable. How do you greet callers?


Friendliness and Humor…My order: “Two hot dogs with just mustard.”His reply: “One hog dog, extra jalapeños.”  The cash register total: $9.21  His reply:: “That’ll be $921 dollars.” When appropriate, how do you engage with your customer to bring a smile or lighten a routine exchange?


Service…He set my 1st hot dog the counter and said “We’ll bring your second one to you when you’re ready.” By the way (noticing my iPad), do you need WiFi?” It’s the small things that all add up to make a big difference.


Results…You can see in the photo that the place was packed and there was a line at the counter. And for me–I’m now a raving fan.


So if someone can do all this selling hot dogs…don’t you think you and I should put the same effort into our customer touches?

And by the way–he wasn’t selling hot dogs…he was selling me.

Here’s to Everyone Who Tells a Story About Their Company

Brochures. Websites. Introductory sales calls. Presentations to a broad industry audience. These opportunities are far too often used by sales reps, marketing departments, and company leaders to provide a picture about themselves, what they make or do, how big they are, how many pins in the map they have.

And not often enough do the messages make a statement to the customer, buyer, prospect, or world at large that resonates with an internal need, a desire to understand “what’s in it for them” and to see value and uniqueness they’re hungry for.

When you look at a group photograph you’re in–don’t you look for yourself first?  Don’t you want to see how you look?  We’re all interested in ourselves, our needs, and “looking” at a company, product, or service we’re considering is no different.


  • “How would my situation be different if I used this?”Coke
  • “What could I have or get from using this?”
  • “How has this helped other people like me be better or get an advantage?”


And yet so many companies still get this so wrong. We create brochures that quantify our size and locations, list out our products lines, but miss the opportunity to get the customer to see how their situation will be improved through their association with us.

So going forward, let’s start with the outside in. Let’s position our message, our pitch, our company from the customer’s point of view.  And not make it all about us.

If you want to see a perfect example of this, watch Steve Jobs’ talk below made in 1997 a couple of months after his return to Apple.  Textbook perfection on how to appeal to your audience.

Best of luck!

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