Dare to be different – Steve Clarke

by | Jul 15, 2015 | Business, Features

Steve Clarke explains how to differentiate your business without driving down profits.

What can you gain from swimming in the sea of sameness, just doing the same as everyone else? If your aim is keep below the radar and shoot for mediocrity, then maybe I get it. However, I doubt that’s what most people in business want. I doubt very much that it’s what you want either. Would I be right?

When you’re offering the same as your competitors, all you can compete on is price and that’s never a good thing from a profit perspective nor is it a healthy place to be for your sanity. To succeed in business today it’s vital to stand out from the crowd – for the right reasons. I dare you to be different. Think and act differently to others in
your field. Come on, I dare you.

Let me tell you about my amazing £30,000,000 rubber ducks. Yes – £30million!

‘Champagne results, on a beer budget’, that’s what I like my sales and marketing strategies to deliver – low cost, high impact results by thinking out of the box. I went from cynic to convert in terms of branded promotional goods and all it took was a rubber bath duck and some creative thinking.

My last business was a claims handling operation. We worked with insurance companies that outsourced IT claims to us. Computer related claims could be complicated. The handlers at the various insurance companies were often out of their depth with technicalities and, to be frank, prior to our intervention they were often overpaying on claims and not really helping the claimant either.

When I explained our service proposition to one claims manager he said, “Fantastic, we get to serve our customers better and…” wait for it, “duck out of IT claims problems.” Ping! The light bulb went on in my head. I had a eureka moment.

Steve Clarke

I set about ordering thousands of large rubber ducks. We had them printed with “duck out of IT claims problems, call 0800 etc”. We then shipped them in bright purple boxes marked “fondle with care”. Do you think that got them opened? You bet. The brand recognition was incredible. Entire claims offices were a mass of yellow ducks. Otherwise straight-laced companies loved them. It was fun, different and memorable. One company started fancy dress duck competitions – really! The entire industry knew who would help them “duck out” of IT claims problems.

This stood us apart from our competitors and was instrumental in our explosive growth. Six million pounds became £12m and quickly we grew to £30m in annual sales.

Come on – I dare you to be different. When you attend and exhibit at FutureScape later this year, how will you stand apart from other exhibitors? Will you book a stand, set up your pop-up banners, have a bowl of Quality Street to share and another bowl for people to put their business cards in, just like so many exhibitors at so many events around the world? Oh, come on!

Do something different. I recently came across this amazing close up, contact juggling act called Enchanted Summer. Just imagine how such an act could entice people to your stand. Let’s see who’s the first to act. Don’t call me, here’s their website: www.sorchara.com

An exceptional sales mentor and sought after motivational business speaker who built his last UK business to £30m in annual sales in just eight years, sold out and retired at 45. Now he helps businesses around the world generate more leads, more sales and more profits. www.eurekasales.co.uk