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Something To Prove

Are you giving customers something your competitors can't? Pushing your extra value could put you on top.

Excerpt from The Titan Principle by Ron Karr reprinted with the permission of Chandler House Press.

We live in a world in which technological or product innovations can vanish in a heartbeat. Differentiation from the competition in today's marketplace doesn't happen solely by means of advanced products and services. In the computer industry not so many years ago, if you came up with a huge technological advance, you had a marketing advantage for, say, 18 months. Now, most high-tech players realize they have only a few weeks or months (sometimes days!) to rely on a technological advance. Before long, someone else is offering essentially the same product or service.

When prospects and customers perceive competing products and services as roughly equal in value, entrepreneurs face a challenge. How can they differentiate themselves and add the value that will clinch the sale?

The magic lies in learning which element is of greatest importance to given prospects and customers--which of your strengths you should emphasize or de-emphasize. You must then focus with intensity on your company's strengths in each of the appropriate value areas. Send the message that you can increase profits, increase productivity, reduce costs, and/or increase competitive advantage for your prospect.

How can you deliver on one or more of those objectives? Let's look at six value areas in detail, with an eye toward how you can deliver a better value proposition than your competition.

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This article was originally published in the March 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Something To Prove.

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