Thursday, January 4, 2018

"What Makes Us So Special That People Should Choose Us?”

As we launch 2018, we obviously are interested in getting a great start. Whether we are building onto the businesses we had in 2017 or we are launching our aging in place business now, the question we need to ask ourselves - and the one that our potential clients and referring professionals will be asking us as well - is, of all the aging in place services businesses that they know about or can find out about that might be able to serve them and their needs, what makes us so special that they would want and need to choose us over anyone else?

That is, with all the businesses that are similar to ours or that could possibly serve their needs - by our definition or theirs - what makes us stand out? Those businesses with similar qualities to ours, similar claims and promises, and similar anything else may appear to casual observer as not that different from us. However, we know there is a difference, and it's our responsibility to help them understand what the difference is. For starters, the difference is us, personally, and the level of expertise that we bring to any situation or engagement with which we are involved.

Determining what we do best and what sets us apart from other businesses - even those that are quite similar to ours - is what we call the unique selling proposition or "USP." It tells anyone wanting to do business with us - potential strategic partners, potential clients, referring professionals who might want to send business our way, or anyone else that may find our services compelling and interesting - why we have just a little more to offer than anyone else like us they might be considering. We are specific to a market, to a price point, and to a clientele, but we are just a little bit more experienced than any other similar business that they might be aware or or willing to consider. 

In answering the question of what our USP is (and it only needs to be special to our marketplace, not the world beyond us) we need to look at our proposition from the client's or customer's perspective. What might appeal to them? What would really, truly set us apart from someone else? It might be years in business, but that in itself does not prove competency, just longevity. It might be professional associations that we affiliate with - but our competition might be able to do that as well. It might be awards or other types of professional recognition we have received. It could be specialized training, achievements, or certifications we have earned. It could be recommendations and endorsements. It could be our business model. It could any number of things, but it only has to to be one very special reason that someone could and should choose us that our competition cannot claim or boast.

Determining what this very special reason is to do business with us that our competition cannot match is the first step in differentiating or setting us apart in the marketplace. The second part is making people aware of this difference.

It might be what we post in our social media profiles or updates, on our website, on online marketing, the tagline on our business cards, or through our direct mail messages, but something has to convey to the marketplace - to our potential customers, clients, and referring professionals - what we have that we is different from everyone else, in a very positive way. In fact, they would be doing themselves a disservice by not doing business with us.

Until and unless we are able to show people that what we do is different from - and better for them - than anyone or anything else in a similar position in the marketplace, we can't expect that we will get any special consideration for earning their business.


Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging In Place Specialist - Master Instructor and best-selling author of aging in place books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit or call 561-685-5555. Also, check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.