Burnt Sugar (Issue 1014)

In which we are reminded to develop at least one clear differentiator that attracts potential clients to us.

“When you go there, you MUST at least TRY the Burnt Sugar ice cream.”

We were referring another friend to Christina’s Ice Cream in Inman Square, Cambridge, MA. Christina’s makes and sells the BEST ice cream in the greater Boston area, perhaps on the planet, as far as I’m concerned (and I say that on the authority that, between my wife and me, we have tried virtually every significant ice cream vendor in the Boston and northern New England area). Their “Chocolate Mousse” frozen yogurt is better than most ice cream companies’ full fat, all-the-fixin’s chocolate ice cream. Food & Wine Magazine recently pronounced that Christina’s is one of the top two ice cream places in Massachusetts. [If you’re curious, Toscanini’s is the other, both in Boston.]

Christina’s makes a lot of flavors; they add and subtract flavors frequently and some of them are crazy inventive, like the jalapeno sorbet I tried a couple of summers ago. And what they are KNOWN for is the Burnt Sugar ice cream. It’s like nothing else you’ve ever had anywhere. As far as I’m concerned, it is their signature offering.

And when we refer friends to restaurants, we tend to do the same thing. We’ll say, “When you go there, have the smoked salmon sausage, it’s their signature dish,” or, at this place, “Have the bread pudding soufflé with whiskey sauce,” or, at another, the “crab meat cakes, crisp beets, and sweet potatoes.”

Why? Because they are fabulous! Unique! Memorable! Sure, these restaurants serve other dishes, some of them the equal of the “signature dishes” we refer for, but when someone asks, “What should I have when I go THERE?”, we recommend certain restaurants for particular dishes.

Ever wonder what people say when they refer potential clients to us? Can they think of a “signature dish” reason to refer to us or do they say, “Go see Bob, he’s a nice guy, he will take care of you?”

I’ll tell you what: I would much rather have somebody say, “go see Bob, the CPA, he’s freaky brilliant at reducing business owner tax liabilities” than “Go see Bob, he’s a nice guy, he will take good care of you.”

“Oh,” one might say, “I could never do that! I offer so many different services or products, I wouldn’t want to be known for just one. That would be too limiting.”

OK, suit yourself, and, if I am going to see Bob, I’m guessing he may offer more services than just freaky great tax minimization advice. Maybe he does. Maybe he doesn’t. The point is, Bob is known for something specific. That’s why people go to see him. They may buy other services, but they show up because he’s great at tax minimization.

And, if the best WE’VE got is, “we are nice guys who provide great service,” we’ve got a very long stream up which to swim.

Nick Miller and Clarity train banks and bankers to attract and develop deeper relationships with small businesses. Many more Sales Thoughts like this and a host of other articles and resources at https://clarityadvantage.com/knowledge-center/ .

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