BD tips and insights

By Linda Julian

How to develop perceived advantage over competitors

November 13, 2013 | Posted in: Business Development Strategy | Tags: ,

Maybe you’re one of those fortunate professionals who has such a stand out service to offer that it’s clearly technically superior, demonstrably better, and so reported by objective analysts and high-profile “industry authorities”.

More likely, the professional services you offer – while better than many – are neck-and-neck with alternatives.

If you belong to the second category, it’s essential to work hard on perceived advantage.

In the first category, you already have a clear advantage, but adding perceived advantage is always a good idea.

Perceived advantage is about what happens in the mind of prospective clients and clients. It results from:

  • branding
  • profile
  • reputation.

A professional services firm with strong and distinctive brand personality, impressive profile, and the right reputation will enjoy success with even “average” products.

Their perceived advantages may be sufficiently strong to overcome apparent service weaknesses, at least for a time. (Beware: never recommended to rely on marketing to paper over problems!)

You can also develop perceived advantage by designing and developing your service delivery processes to:

  • more comfortably fit with clients
  • ease interaction between your business and theirs
  • provide minor desirable add-ons at no-charge
  • minimise their concerns
  • mitigate the insecurities and risks they perceive in proceeding with your service.

A better professional service may deserve to win over the rest, but the fact is that perceived advantage often wins the race.

At moments of truth – the critical times when consumers are selecting the professionals with whom they will entrust their work – by mustering the most appropriate and effective business development behaviours, you will create and leverage strong perceived advantage.

Click here for more information on how we can help with strategic positioning of your firm, or please get in touch.

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