Seven Ways to Stand Out From the Competition

Distinguish yourself from your competitors by taking your service to the next level

Interested in Business?

Get Business articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Business + Get Alerts

Standing out is more than just showing up in the morning. You have to show up and be seen. It’s about providing better service than anyone else, being something that the customer has never experienced before.

I’ll tell anyone that my company Just Drains does that every day — from the way we dress, the way we pull up to a job site, even the way we knock on the door. Standing out has made Just Drains become a force to be reckoned with in this industry.

Here are my tips for making sure your company stands out too.

1. Always look the part. Make sure your equipment and vehicles are always clean and in tiptop shape. We do a check of trucks and uniforms every morning. This also means always making sure you and your crews are crisp and clean, even if you have to change several times a day. We keep at least four extra uniforms on our trucks because our guys always have to look sharp when they present themselves to a customer.

It’s very important for your employees to always be well groomed and look the part because they are on the front line, so to speak. They are what people see first. Their uniform shirt and pants should always be ironed and look crisp. This is the real world; you don’t have a second chance to make a first impression.

I also suggest doing drug testing on a regular basis to make sure everybody is on the same page and keeps their priorities in line with yours.

2. Branding plays an important role in this also — use recognizable colors, create a memorable logo and come up with a name that’s catchy. If you want to stand out, always remember that less is more when you’re coming up with designs. Also, your phone number must be front and center. Customers should be able to see your phone number even before your company name. If you have the opportunity, purchase a business phone number with repeating numerals or a “vanity” number that will be easy for customers to remember.

When it comes to business cards, less is more. What I mean is that a lot of times business cards are too cluttered with information. Our business card is straight to the point. You must let the customer know what you do and how to reach you — that’s it. A business card that is too busy will not keep the customer engaged and a lot of times it will just end up in the trash. It’s very important not to use the cheapest business card either. Don’t forget: First impressions are lasting impressions. You must spend money when needed. It’s also very important to use both sides of your business card. If you ever see a Just Drains card, you will see that we use both sides, but the business card is not cluttered and it is high quality.

3. Always speak clearly and slowly enough so your customers can understand you. Explain how you will fix their problem in simple terms and not in industry-speak. Encourage your customers to ask questions so as to make them comfortable with the process.

4. Always engage your customers with eye contact when you’re speaking with them. Look directly at the person, because it conveys honesty. When you’re looking at a customer, it shows not only that you’re engaged in the conversation and paying attention, but also that you respect them.

It’s a good idea to practice this with role-playing. In the office or shop, pretend to be the customer and have your technicians come up and act like they’re waiting on you. It’s very important to talk to the customer and not at the customer. Eye contact means everything. If you have employees who have problems talking or engaging with customers, it will hurt your business — and I guarantee it will hurt your bottom line. I don’t care how good a mechanic or technician is if they do not know how to interact with customers. Your team must have good people-skills because at the end of the day, without the customers, we don’t have a job to do. A lot of companies think that the customer needs them; no, we need the customer.

Your technicians and plumbers must always respect the customer’s home. Make sure they wear the proper booties on their feet, and most definitely make sure your technicians always clean up after themselves. They must make the property better than it looked before they came. I can’t stress that point enough. So often I see companies that leave a job filthy and the customer may not say anything — they just won’t ever call you back.

5. Always position your vehicle where it can be seen when you park at a work site. That truck or van is your rolling billboard, so let it work for you when you’re on the job. Ring the doorbell and then stand back about 5 feet, so not to be directly on top of the customer when they open the door. This also gives them reassurance when they look through the peephole to see who is at the door. Always present your business card or company ID when introducing yourself to your residential client.

6. Aside from being professional — at all times, not just some of the time — it’s also very important for you and your crew to be very knowledgeable about what you do.

You have to know everything about your industry. This is one way to be beyond the competition. Being average just doesn’t cut it. Make sure your team is always learning by going to seminars and training.

7. This industry is very physical. So many times I have people apply to be on my team but quickly realize they aren’t in good enough shape to thrive in this industry. Drain cleaning work is so physically demanding and requires that you be in shape because a majority of the time you will be lifting, walking, climbing, pulling and crawling — so your stamina and strength should be at 100%.

At the end of the day, being able to deliver on the promise of solving a problem quickly and efficiently is what it’s all about. 


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.