Check Out Bill Cates’ NEW Top Advisor Podcast™
Interviews with Top Advisors for Top Advisors!

Listen + Subscribe Now

5 Ways to Discover Your Meaningful Differentiation

by Bill Cates


If a high-level prospect or potential center of influence asked you, “What makes you different?”. Would you have an immediate, succinct, and confident answer?

Do you struggle or are you clear and confident?

And does what makes you different matter? Is it a differentiation that brings a real and obvious benefit?

You see, only differences that matter… matter.

5 Broad Categories of Differentiation

Keep in mind that these are not mutually exclusive. Perhaps you can apply more than one of these categories to your business.

1. You Focus on a Target Market

When you focus on a target market, your value is often perceived immediately because of the questions you ask and the concepts you choose to discuss. When you focus on a specific market, you can demonstrate immediate empathy for their challenges and opportunities, often bringing solutions that a generalist just can’t offer. I’ve written about the benefits of targeting a narrow market many times in the past and will continue to do so. Here are two past blogs on the topic:

2. Your Expertise or Specialization

People like to work with experts and specialists. Expertise can come from formal education, certifications, and years of experience. Don’t be timid about emphasizing your expertise and how you specialize.

3. Your Process for Discovering and Revealing Problems and Opportunities

Employing a comprehensive approach to discussing your prospects’ and clients’ problems can be a great source of value. For example, your discovery process might reveal problems and opportunities that were previously hidden to the prospect. Your discovery process can bring value quickly in a new relationship by getting prospects to think in ways they haven’t before.

4. Your Process for Customizing and Delivering Solutions

Once you conduct a comprehensive discovery process and truly know the context in which you find prospects and clients, you are in position to bring truly customized remedies to their problems and help maximize their opportunities.

5. Your Process for Adding Continual Value to Clients

One of your points of differentiation may stem from how you continually bring value to your clients. While some of these points might be included in your core offering, others may be value-added items that surprise and delight clients, such as client- appreciation events. Communicating your client service promise to prospects can often be the tipping point that turns that person into a client.

Name Your Process

Does your process have a name? One way to create immediate differentiation is to name your process.  If you created the process, then only you have it. Instant differentiation. If you use a process developed by someone else, that’s fine. While it may not be unique, certainly not just anyone can offer that process.

A Few Final Thoughts

Are there other ways to stand out from others? Of course! Can you have more than one point of differentiation. You bet!

Just be sure to communicate your points of differentiation in a way that is meaningful to others, that demonstrates real value.

In the coming weeks and months, I’ll be sharing excerpts from my newest book, Radical Relevance.

In today’s business environment, having a radically relevant message is more important than ever before. Get started now!

Questions?  Comments?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Grow Your Business in This Virtual World

A High-Content Webinar for New Agents & Advisors

Thursday, July 23
1:00pm EDT,   12:00am CDT,   11:00am MDT,   10:00am PDT

FROM:  Bill Cates

  • Communicating your value and what makes you different
  • Becoming referable with your natural market and quickly in new relationships
  • Asking your natural market and clients for referrals
  • Turning referrals into introductions that turn into appointments

FROM:  Gail Goodman

  • How to schedule “phone dates” with your new prospects instead of random dialing
  • Why and how to use a “digital” business card instead of your paper one
  • Understanding how to organize your words when you’re building a script
  • If your mentor is willing to let you call their “less than A” clients, here is the language. If you’re an independent professional and never called your friends and family, here is the language

Turn surviving into thriving!  Turn 2020 into a great year!


Referral Coach