Originally posted on CU Insight (April 16, 2013)
Do any of these sound familiar?
We have the best products out there!
Our service can’t be beat!
Our rates are the lowest in our market!
Our products are of the highest quality!
These are just a couple examples of so-called differentiating statements that many companies use. Sales 101 tells us that we have to find a way to “stand out,” “be different,” “find our unique value proposition.” All of that is true but if a lot of companies are using the themes, wording, or phrasing above, are they really all that different from each other?
Finding the differentiating factor for your credit union isn’t easy. Credit unions and other financial institutions are competing for market share by offering similar products and services. So using products or services as your differentiator doesn’t make much sense (unless, of course, you are the first in your market to offer something. Of course, that little slice of Shangri-La only lasts so long.) Also, using “service” as your unique differentiator simply isn’t enough anymore. Have you noticed that everyone says they have the best service?
You know what I’d LOVE to hear credit unions talk about? Something that would really and truly be different. I don’t hear too many companies (credit unions or otherwise) talk about the skill, passion, dedication, and expertise of their employees. (Southwest Airlines and Zappos being two notable exceptions.) Credit unions should start talking about their team members. Something like:
Our employees have the best training in the industry. What they know, you’ll know!
We hold our team to the absolute highest of standards. You deserve the best!
We take your financial well-being seriously. That’s why we only hire smart people.
Sure it’s unconventional. Yes there may be some people who may take offense. Yes, it will make heads turn. But isn’t that what you want? Doesn’t your credit union want its members business partners, and potential members to know that the staff isn’t made up of a bunch of dummies? Isn’t it important to communicate that your employees are well-trained and highly motivated and held to the strictest of standards?
People are struggling right now. They are looking for guidance. They are looking for trusted partners. They want to know why you are different than everyone else.
So tell them…..”Our employees are just better because….well, we require them to be!”