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Sales Consulting and Training:

Stand Out From the Crowd

Making Yourself Memorable

In early 2000, a brash new player burst onto the scene of an already crowded field of airline carriers. That company had a strong, well-executed business plan and aimed to provide customers with lower airfares and a superior flying experience while serving a somewhat limited amount of cities. That company was and is JetBlue Airways and it has succeeded by standing out from its competition.

A bit of time spent on JetBlue’s web page will provide you with an idea of what makes it different from other airlines:

“JetBlue is the only airline in the world to offer passengers live satellite television with up to 24 channels of DIRECTV® programming free of charge at every seat. Every JetBlue aircraft is outfitted with a DIRECTV® system which features individual seatback monitors, armrest remotes with channel and volume controls.”

“JetBlue will add up to 100 channels of digital satellite radio… XM Satellite Radio's free in-flight service will allow JetBlue customers to choose from XM's unmatched variety of music, news, sports, information and entertainment, all with digital-quality audio and coast-to-coast coverage.”

“With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all travel is ticketless, all fares are one-way, and a Saturday night stay is never required”

What have all these perks done for JetBlue?  Well, the numbers speak for themselves.  According to JetBlue’s 2003 10-K,

“While the airline industry suffered losses in 2003 and 2002, we had net income of $103.9 million and $54.9 million for the years ended December 31, 2003 and 2002, respectively. We generated an operating margin of 16.9% and 16.5% in 2003 and 2002, respectively, which were higher than all of the major U.S. airlines, according to reports by those airlines.”

JetBlue differentiated itself by providing a superior product at a lower price and, to date, it has been successful.  Even small things can make you stand out from a crowded field of competitors. What can you do that can make your product or service stand out from your competition?  Little things go a long way

Customers appreciate small touches that allow them to clearly see the difference between your organization and other. This can be driven home to even minute levels. Think about the way you correspond with customers. I knew one rep who always sent correspondence or thank you notes to long-time customers on nostalgic looking cards that featured vignettes of old tractor ads. The cards were usually attached to other correspondence but allowed that sales rep to stand out from his competitors. Customers remembered the tractors. 

Other companies may package their products in a different manner.  They may do something that makes their service, even if it is relatively the same as others, just a bit differentThe cost may be the same but the final product may be look different.  A logo may be used in a certain manner.  The possibilities truly are endless. 

Ultimately, anything you can do to get a leg up on the competition will help. Get creative and think about the ways your products, your service or even the best sales tool you can use – you – can be different than you competition.

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