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What’s your point of difference?

Why do vendors choose to work with you?

Within every industry, businesses and individuals are looking for an edge, an advantage over their competitors that will allow them to win more business. In marketing speak, it’s called positioning. In simple terms, it’s about having a clear point of difference over your competitors. A compelling reason for a prospective customer to choose you over someone else. Which begs the question – what’s yours?

Leadership author and speaker, Simon Sinek, recommends that, to identify our personal and professional point of difference, we should Start with Why. In his book of the same name, and in his exceptionally popular TED talk (which you can view here) he outlines the benefits of being clear about your Why. But let’s first look what your ‘why’ actually is. 

According to Sinek, your Why is your reason for doing what you do. It’s not about an end result, so it shouldn’t be about money, fame or some other result based outcome. Your why determines the way you act and the choices you make. But is this important? According to Sinek, yes, as the most important benefit of understanding your why, is that it’s the reason people choose to work with you. As he states, people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

The core premise of Sinek’s argument is based on the way that we as people buy, namely, based on emotion rather than logic and rational facts. And it would appear that Sinek isn’t alone in his thinking. Marketing Articles from as far back as 2001 reference Consumer surveys showing that, in most cases, 20% of the decision to make a purchase is logical and 80% is emotional.

But before you flood me with emails suggesting this is nonsense, consider this concept: 

People rationalise buying decisions based on facts, but people make buying decisions based on feelings.

You don’t need consumer surveys to see this in action. Simply think of the last time you purchased something with a reasonable price tag. Let’s take the purchase of your last car for example. Did you weigh the options carefully, making a list of all possible options, then rationally outline the various features of each, expert reviews, tests and more, comparing them to your daily vehicular needs, or did you short list immediately based on the brands and car styles that you liked first then make your choice based on the one you ‘liked the most’. For example, did you take careful note of the additional legroom available in the Skoda or the lower cost, or did you connect more with the design cues of the Audi / VW and justify the additional price as being ‘worth it’. 

Our brains are wired to buy based on emotion, so it makes sense that building an emotional connection with a prospective vendor would provide us the best chance of gaining a new listing. Which brings us back to Sinek’s Why. 

How do you explain why you do what you do to your prospective vendors? Is it the challenge of helping a vendor to maximise the value in their property? Or is it simply to sell as many houses as possible?

Does your Why set you apart, or make you sound like everyone else?

If you’re looking for a way to stand out from the crowd, starting with Simon Sinek’s TED talk is no bad place to start.

Wishing you the best of luck and, of course, more buyers to your front door.