Creating Competitive Advantage: Give Customers a Reason to Choose You Over Your Competitors

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Crown Publishing Group, Apr 25, 2006 - Business & Economics - 208 pages
2 Reviews
Why should I do business with you… and not your competitor?

Whether you are a retailer, manufacturer, distributor, or service provider – if you cannot answer this question, you are surely losing customers, clients and market share. This eye-opening book reveals how identifying your competitive advantages and trumpeting them to the marketplace is the most surefire way to close deals, retain clients, and stay miles ahead of the competition.

The five fatal flaws of most companies:

?  They don’t have a competitive advantage but think they do
?  They have a competitive advantage but don’t know what it is—so they lower prices instead
?  They know what their competitive advantage is but neglect to tell clients about it
?        They mistake “strengths” for competitive advantages
?         They don’t concentrate on competitive advantages when making strategic and operational decisions

The good news is that you can overcome these costly mistakes – by identifying your competitive advantages and creating new ones. Consultant, public speaker, and competitive advantage expert Jaynie Smith will show you how scores of small and large companies substantially increased their sales by focusing on their competitive advantages. When advising a CEO frustrated by his salespeople’s inability to close deals, Smith discovered that his company stayed on schedule 95 percent of the time – an achievement no one else in his industry could claim. By touting this and other competitive advantages to customers, closing rates increased by 30 percent—and so did company revenues.

Jack Welch has said, “If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.” This straight-to-the-point book is filled with insightful stories and specific steps on how to pinpoint your competitive advantages, develop new ones, and get the message out about them. 

“The biggest marketing flaw in most companies is their failure to fully reap the benefits of their competitive advantages. Either they think they have a competitive advantage but don’t. Or they have one and don’t realize it. Or they know they have a strong competitive advantage but fail to promote it adequately to their customers and prospects.

“In my research with middle-market companies, I found only two CEOs out of 1,000 who could clearly name their companies’ competitive advantages. The other 99.8 percent could offer only vague, imprecise generalities. These same CEOs often rely on outside consultants to guide strategic-planning sessions. Yet, in my experience, very few consultants – even seasoned ones – give competitive advantage evaluation more than a superficial glance….

“Ignoring your competitive advantages can be an expensive and even fatal mistake. Because no matter the size of your company or the kind of business you are in, your competitive advantages should be the foundation of all your strategic and operational decisions. They’re the reasons customers choose to buy from you instead of the other guy.” – From Creating Competitive Advantage

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - GShuk - LibraryThing

Another book on creating your value proposition. Worth reading for it has some good points in it, but takes a while to get to the point. I like her discussion on the concept that competitive advantage needs to be objective not subjective. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PointedPundit - LibraryThing

Using telling case studies, Jaynie L. Smith reveals in “Creating Competitive Advantage” how to exploit your competitive advantages to keep your firm alive and growing. In her research, the Florida ... Read full review


Chapter 2
Your Competitive Advantage Can Save Your
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Dangerous Disparity
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Communicate Communicate Communicate

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About the author (2006)

JAYNIE L. SMITH is the founder of ICS Marketing, a management consultancy whose clients include Wachovia Bank, First National Bank, and hundreds of small- and medium-size businesses. She also serves as the Florida chair for the Executive Committee, an international network of over 11,000 executives. She lives in Hollywood, Florida. WILLIAM G. FLANAGAN has been a writer and editor at Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Esquire, and New York magazine.

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