The four ‘C’s – how to differentiate your offer in a crowded market

Feb 5, 2018 | Blog, Differentiation from competitors, Insight, Key Client Management

Whether you are selling engineering, consultancy or legal services, the climate can be harshly competitive. Annabel Miller highlights one of the biggest challenges: of being able to differentiate your offer to that of your competitors.

In most cases our competitors are technically as good as we are, many also have the track record and experience that clients are looking for. There may be a difference in the fees they charge compared to you but as long as we’re comparing apples with apples there’s unlikely to be a lot of difference in the price either.

 

So how do we answer the question ‘Why choose us’ in the mind of the client?

There are things we can do and say that will firmly differentiate us and our offer and they are not “we’re better than them” or “we’re cheaper than them”. They fall into the following categories:

  • Curiosity
  • Courage
  • Conviction
  • Confidence

By demonstrating these four things you will firmly position yourself and your solution, head and shoulders above your competitors.

Differentiate your offering

Learn how to develop your team to become truly client-centric

Get more info

Curiosity

An innate sense of professional curiosity is an essential skill that the best business developers have naturally. Really understanding your client, their challenges, their objectives (including personal KPIs) their hopes, fears and aspirations will provide you with the intelligence to be proactive and genuinely help your client.

Courage

There are times when we know better than our client, after all, this is our area of expertise. Having the courage (and tact) to push back on clients’ wishes is something Trusted Advisors do but be wary – you have to earn the right to challenge your client. We also have to be courageous in other areas, for example, only bidding for opportunities we know we have a really good chance of winning, asking for referrals, picking up the phone to a potential new client etc.

Conviction

Linked to courage we have to stand by our beliefs and our ethos. We must stand for something and be known for it. An example of this is a firm of engineering consultants we work with, who are known for the quality of their design. They refuse to compromise in this area, and will not cut corners when submitting a proposal which means sometimes they price themselves out of a project.

Confidence

This comes across in every interaction with clients, from how we come across on our website and marketing material to our discussions with clients and prospects, and our proposals. Clients like to work with people who are confident in themselves and their offer. Beware though, people do not warm to arrogance and there is a fine line between the two.

Account management planning

Strategic and tactical approaches to client account management.

Client Account Planning - free training guide from Questas ConsultingMake your Key Account Planning successful

Download your free guide to grow your key account management skills.

Get it now

Cross Selling in the world of Professional Services

Cross selling in the world of Professional Services?   Cross selling in the world of Professional Services is the Holy Grail.  Organisations think it’s easy, but in this episode of Work Winning Ways, you’ll find out why it’s very difficult. Join Gary Williams as...

How To Become A Trusted Advisor

On this episode of Work Winning Ways, host Gary Williams of Questas discusses the evolution of the work winning employee and what your client wants from them. Also hear all about what it takes to become a trusted advisor, and just...

Managing the Client Experience

Managing the client experience is vital, because we all know that a happy client is your best advocate. That is why it’s so important to understand the tools needed to successfully optimise the client experience, and maximise the positive encounters that clients have...

Building Strong Relationships

In this episode of Working Winning Ways Gary Williams talks to Edd Stone of The Technology Partnership. Hear all about how Edd works with, understands, and builds strong relationships with people. These relationships can last over an entire career and span different...

The Psychology of Selling

Did you know that understanding the psychology of selling can help you to win more work? Are you responsible for winning work but not a salesperson?  On the Questas Academy’s Professional Selling programme, we work with candidates to equip them with the tools and...

7 Steps to Winning More Work in 2022

Do you want to win more work in 2022? Here are 7 steps that will help you to win more of the right kind of work from the right kind of clients. These are based on our years of helping consultancy, engineering and professional services firms create opportunities,...

Engineering and Leadership

In this episode of WORK WINNING WAYS we have a fascinating interview with Pat Sweet of the Engineering and Leadership podcast. Pat talks to Questas founder and CEO Gary Williams, as he gives some great insights on what it takes to successfully lead professional...

Building Customer Experience Around Trust, Care and Value.

How To Building Customer Experience Around Trust, Care and Value Building customer experience around trust, care and value is the main theme of this episode of Work Winning Ways. Questas founder and CEO Gary Williams is joined by Paul Adams of The Project Centre, a...

Why Client Services are the Key to Success

WORK WINNING WAYS with Gary Williams In this episode of Work Winning Ways, Gary Williams, (founder and CEO of Questas) reveals why client services are the key to success. He shares insights on what Questas does for companies, how the podcast name came about, and why...

Approaches to Work Winning

WORK WINNING WAYS with Gary Williams. The Questas Podcast: Episode Eight. In this episode of Work Winning Ways, Gary is joined by Mike Reader. Mike is the Head of Work Winning at Mace, leading opportunity management, capturing and bidding across Mace's Consult...