How Important Is Differentiation?

By Robert Friedman

How important is differentiation for professional services firms?

Prospects and clients are not looking for differentiated firms, per se.

Clients have needs and opportunities. Often, they simply want to hire a qualified professional who will get the job done.

Sometimes, though, clients will consider several viable options and ask, “Who will do the best job” or, an even more sophisticated question, “Who will do the best job for us given our unique needs?”

Now we’re venturing into the need for differentiation.

When you’re in this situation, what can you do to influence preference?

Of course, you have to be a master of the basics – like really listening to your prospects, focusing on their needs and showing how your work will meet their objectives.

But if you compete in a highly competitive category, mastering the basics typically won’t be enough to win the business. You’ve got to stand out to be chosen.

How do you differentiate your firm in the most meaningful way?