What does your firm do better than most?  What makes you different?  Why do people hire you?  Are your skills, background and past performances rare in your industry?  What differentiates your company in a crowded field?

This month I challenge you to re-examine, refresh and document (write down) your corporate discriminators.  So many times our corporate discriminators are so common that they no longer function as discriminators.

Minority Ownership

How many times have you seen minority ownership touted as a discriminator? Being minority-owned is hardly unusual among Federal contractors.  If you are depending on that status to differentiate your company, you might be in trouble.

Customer Service

Claims of superior customer service seem ubiquitous.  Using customer service as a discriminator is probably a bad idea unless you are truly providing customer service that is above and beyond what your competitors provide – and you can prove it. Before you make any customer service claims, take the time to look at customer service metrics for your industry and crunch the data to see if you’re truly superior.  Be wary of claiming superior customer service if you are not exceeding an industry average by a significant margin.  Remember, you may be asked to substantiate your claims.

The good news is that most corporate discriminators are pretty weak.  Ironically, it probably won’t take much to differentiate your firm with above-average discriminators!