What to DO to GIVE Referrals: Competition

Referral Trigger for the week of January 18
Topic: PowerPercolator
Conversation led by the Sugarloaf Team  (100% responses achieved)

……. One of the rounds in a PowerPerk focuses on our competition.  We all have competitors, whether it’s the do-it-yourselfer, the person who doesn’t want us, or a company that markets in our sector.

  • Pick one competitor and tell us how you are different.
  • Is this a choice you consciously made?
  • What type of client does this difference make you more
    attractive to?
  • Why?

Click ‘Leave a comment’ below to share your perspective.

20 Responses to What to DO to GIVE Referrals: Competition
  1. Wesley Anderson, DCH
    January 15, 2016 | 10:58 am

    ‘Tis the season of failing New Year’s resolutions. Drug companies that make smoking cessation drugs, like Chantix, are my competitors.

    I offer hypnotherapy because it is dramatically more effective than Chantix, and because I prefer to take his few drugs as possible myself.

    People who choose hypnotherapy for smoking cessation typically have tried drugs and patches with no success. Many of them also wish to avoid taking drugs altogether, just on principle.

    The vast majority of my clients have a college education, and they have heard that hypnotherapy is a superior method for smoking cessation. That prompts them to do the research that indicates hypnotherapy is an exceptional option.

    Wesley Anderson, DCH
    YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/user/nelper51
    CNN interview: http://tinyurl.com/otrthwb

  2. Tommy Schlosser
    January 15, 2016 | 3:23 pm

    GEICO has regional call centers, I have an agent delivery model. Yes, the difference is by design. This makes us VERY beneficial for people that have local questions; like claims, state laws, and actual how-to questions.
    Highlighting specifically claims, even though the # of claims filed through an app or without human contact is increasing overall (GEICO leads in this category) people that file with an agent are on average 10% or higher in satisfaction ratings when the claim is over. I offer a hybrid model; I tell people to file with me and then we’ll follow-up via txt or email. This allowed me to prevent at least two claims this year saving both clients at least $300 each.

    Tommy Schlosser
    TXT Friendly 770-855-3113

  3. Rick Daigle
    January 15, 2016 | 4:40 pm

    I made a conscious decision years ago to never talk about competition or even recognize that I have competitors. I welcome and encourage potential clients to look for alternatives knowing full well that they will not find anyone with my unique set of skills, knowledge, experience, and personality. I love it most when a business owner calls me after they have worked with another QuickBooks “expert”. Within minutes they see the enormous difference and the immediate value I can provide to their business.

    It makes a difference to my clients because in the wise words from wife . . . “you will never be disappointed if you buy the best!”

  4. Marie Woods
    January 15, 2016 | 6:32 pm

    In my industry of mental health therapy and counseling, large government funded agencies are our competitors. I made the decision to move into a small private pay group practice because it allows me to provide more quality services to my clients without the influence of other external entities like insurance companies. The particular niche of clients that I serve take their personal privacy very seriously, and they are willing to pay extra for quality services and assured privacy. Operating on a private, fee for service basis allows me to hold my clients confidentiality in the highest regard, and be able to focus on what is most important – serving their needs.

    Marie Woods, LMFT, CSAT-S
    Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
    Certified Sex Addiction Therapist and Supervisor
    Relationship Recovery Center, LLC
    4725 Peachtree Corners Circle, Suite 385
    Norcross, Georgia 30092
    (770) 676-7748 x102
    (770) 676-7481 (fax)

  5. Jim Miskell
    January 17, 2016 | 7:33 pm

    My biggest competitor is the do it yourselfer. Intelligent and relatively savvy, the DIYer figures he or she can handle some straightforward estate planning – I mean how hard can it be anyway? Aren’t there forms? We’re just talking about a Will and maybe a Power of Attorney, right? Can’t I just own everything jointly with my kids – that way they get it automatically when I die?
    This is precisely why the process for my clients begins with a complimentary educational workshop. The workshop uses stories to relate estate planning concepts that can otherwise seem esoteric and to reveal unintended consequences that can occur (and have occurred) with inadequate planning.
    When I discuss the idea of joint ownership of a home by client and child, I point out that while it will accomplish automatic transfer upon the client’s death, the sale of the house subjects the child to capital gains taxation that inheritance would avoid. Joint ownership also puts the home immediately at risk to the child’s creditors, predators and divorce.
    A few “oh, I didn’t realize that”s usually serve to illustrate that some experience with specialized knowledge is likely to be more cost effective in the long run. The complimentary educational workshop along with a complimentary follow up one on one consultation also distinguishes us from other professionals in our area of practice.

  6. Jay Bell
    January 17, 2016 | 9:56 pm

    It is true that one “competitor” of a business attorney is the do-it-yourselfer. Sometimes when I recognize that is who is on the other end of the line I will suggest a first step they can try on their own, with the offer that they call me if the issue isn’t resolved. They often call back and I have instant credibility, and a new client!

  7. Wayne Thompson
    January 18, 2016 | 10:29 am

    A big competitor for me are the Big Banks. As a Mid Size Mortgage Company we put a large emphasis on Customer Service and individual attention. A client can reach me evenings, weekends and I work closely with them through every step of the process. Buying a Home today can be overwhelming and having a Loan Officer that is engaged from start to finish is priceless!!!

  8. Buchi Osakwe
    January 18, 2016 | 4:20 pm

    One of the key reasons why I became a Nationwide Agent is because of the unique opportunity afforded me to act as an Independent Agent while remaining captive to a great company. What it allows me to do is consultatively offer my clients the most suitable coverage at a competitive price.

    While my client base is diverse, my Agency is attractive to clients who see value in Insurance (not just because an entity has mandated that they have it). They are clients concerned with appropriate and adequate coverage at a reasonable price.

    Buchi Osakwe
    Nationwide/MBO Insurance Agency

  9. Joyce Ray
    January 18, 2016 | 6:09 pm

    One of the biggest misconceptions in my industry is that For Sale By Owners (FSBO’s) are in competition with realtors. I don’t agree with that. I do compete with other agents to promote myself to sellers and buyers but I never consider homeowners to be my competitors. In fact, I am happy to meet with homeowners who are considering selling their homes themselves and outline the pitfalls and even tell them ways they can overcome them. Many homeowners are successful while others give up after a few weeks of being constantly on call to show their home and being concerned for their family’s safety when they let strangers in without a way to “Vet” them personally or financially. Getting onboard with sellers helps me add to my inventory of homes to show even if they are not willing to list. It helps me stay aware of all properties for sale in the area and allows the owner to see how I do business in the event they do decide to list with an agent.
    Joyce Ray
    Chapman Hall Premier Realtors

  10. Gregory Carter
    January 18, 2016 | 7:29 pm

    I differ from other Life Insurance Agents because an Accelerated Benefits Rider (“Living Benefits”) is included at no additional charge in every policy that I offer from the carriers I represent. Working with carriers who provide this superior feature of life coverage was one of the reason that I became affiliated with Synergy Financial Partners. Having the ability to accelerate up to 90% of the policy death benefit in the event of a critical, chronic, serious or terminal illness is important to any client who understands that we cannot always prevent bad things from happening but we can be prepared when they do happen. Having Life Insurance for Life is one of the most important protections that a person can put in place for themselves and their family.
    Greg Carter, Agent
    Synergy Financial Partners
    404 492-9828 office

  11. Sharon Levister
    January 18, 2016 | 9:20 pm

    I’m different from Advisors who only have a set network of product they can offer. Being independent allows me to work with the product providers that provide highly competitive products, services, and long-term benefit to my clients. Access to the independent market ensures that my clients can utilize competitive products in pursuit of their financial goals and dreams.
    Everyone has different needs and being able to select a product based on that need without forced limitations is a great assest to financial planning.

    Sharon Levister
    Parsonex Securities

  12. Kashima Peters
    January 19, 2016 | 5:43 am

    The Social Hostess provides day coordination and event support for conventions, workshop and intimate gatherings.

    I would say my biggest competition are volunteers. This could be volunteers from the organization’s board or volunteers that have decided to put in additional hours outside of their work title.
    Working a registration table, stuffing goodie bags and greeting guests does not seem like hard additional volunteer work. That is until a baseball game comes up or a child gets sick. When an individual is being paid for a service the priority is number one. Being on time, being professional and working until the end are some of the differences my clients have mentioned between using volunteers and going with The Social Hostess.

  13. Sam Wilson
    January 19, 2016 | 10:12 am

    When it comes to commercial insurance, competitors jump in to the market, get their fill and jump out again. And then they repeat the cycle every 10 years. However, my approach is to simply sit down with business owners, answer questions, point out some suggestions, and place the responsibility of their business insurance in the hands of the client. After all, as I always tell our clients “It’s your insurance, not mine. Own it and make your choices and it’s okay to make changes as you go along.” Our approach is appealing to people who people who are selective in their business decisions, BUT it’s also helpful for those who have made their choices blindly in the past because it forces them to make moves in a manner they know they need to.

    Sam Wilson, Agency Owner
    American Family Insurance

  14. Deborah Ashley
    January 19, 2016 | 10:39 am

    Wow! You’re asking someone who does BodyWork to tell who my competitors are! One of the things we are taught in massage school is that we don’t compete when it comes to people’s health and relaxation, because there is a right bodyworker out there for everyone. Just because you don’t like one person’s work doesn’t mean there isn’t another practitioner who fits like a glove. So, with that said I guess the only competitor that I feel comfortable naming would be the fancy expensive spas that are available everywhere for getting bodywork. I think they are overpriced for the ordinary person, but they charge more because 1. They can and 2. They have a high overhead. I try to keep my prices low so that everyone can afford to come get bodywork! My overhead is low, and I offer a very personalized service where I get to know your preferences and needs. You also know when you make an appointment that you’ll get the same therapist every time, unlike the expensive spas, where you can request a therapist, but aren’t guaranteed to get them. My clients and I develop a relationship that is invaluable for them getting what they need each time they come.

    Deborah L. Ashley
    Bodywork for Stress and Pain Relief
    Tucker, GA 30084

  15. DeWitte Thompson
    January 19, 2016 | 11:29 am

    One of the reasons I started in the training industry was to help people develop an overall healthier lifestyle. I differ from others in that respect because I don’t focus solely on the training session that I have with my clients. We only work out together for 30 minutes or an hour out of the day so I strive to explain to my clients how they can continue to live a healthier lifestyle outside of the gym. Whether it be sleep, stress, nutrition, or any number of other health or fitness related issues, I offer advice and help to my clients so that they can maintain and improve on their healthy lifestyle long after our training session is complete.

    DeWitte Thompson
    Healthy Life and Fitness Consultants, Inc.

  16. Jody Currie
    January 19, 2016 | 7:03 pm

    One competitor would be Premium skincare lines sold in Department stores. What sets Rodan + Fields apart is that we are clinically proven, effective, Dermatology based skincare, delivered straight to the customer, no appointment necessary. We are revolutionizing the way Dermatology is accessed and delivered, addressing various skin concerns to include aging skin (fine lines, wrinkles, loss of firmness), Sun damage (dark marks and dullness), red, sensitive skin and adult acne and post-acne marks. Today’s consumer is savvy and most prefer to order on-line as proven in declining retail sales and the powerful surge in e-commerce. My clients are loving the transformational results they see on their faces. Ordering customized regimens and at-home tools straight from my website, they turn their bathrooms into their very own virtual skincare clinic. Also with my personalized service they don’t have to worry about running out of their products and fighting traffic and lines at the counter to replenish their supply. When they are ready for more, at the click of a button it shows up at their door.

    Jody Currie
    Rodan + Fields Consultant

  17. Maureen Merchant-Johnson
    January 19, 2016 | 9:47 pm

    There are many cleaning services/companies out there professing to be the best and offering great services. These companies set up over night and try to undercut your business by stating to offer a great service at a ridiculously reduced price. On the surface they may appear to offer more value for money. However my clients know when they are dealing with me they have a company that has over 25 years of service, does background checks on all their workers before they can work in any home or establishment. Has a A* rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Has dedicated professionals who geninually put their clients first. Has no complaints reported against them. A company that is bonded and insured in the State of Georgia. Has professionally trained individuals that know how to use the dangerous and toxic chemicals in order to cause the least damage to homes and properties whilst still getting a professional clean. Our clients appreciate that we go the extra mile to ensure that they get a job well done and we can back up what we talk about. We purposely chose to make the added investment in our people so that we could outshine our competitors. So in closing our worst type of competitor is the do-it-yourself person who thinks that cleaning simply involves a broom, bucket and water. That they can go out there and compete with experienced individuals who have won awards and accolades for their years of dedicated work.

  18. Mary Madison
    January 20, 2016 | 3:05 pm

    Weight Watchers can be considered a competitor, but it is different than what I coach. Not only does my program make eating simple, there are no points to count and track, and I have personally used the plan to shed 125 pounds. There are no group meetings, but personal one-on-one relationships between the Health Coach and client for accountability and motivation. These qualities are important for busy people who can’t commit to weekly meetings and points tracking. My clients are interested in learning and developing long term habits for a healthy lifestyle, not just a diet program. They want to follow a plan without having to make difficult decisions or prepping elaborate meals every couple of hours.

  19. Beth Jones
    January 20, 2016 | 6:09 pm

    As a Real Estate Attorney working in a full-service law firm my competition is a Real Estate Attorney in a large-volume closing office. My team and I focus on handling real estate matters for clients, but are not large-volume closers (sometimes called a closing “mill”). I am able to distinguish myself from the large-volume closing office because the same paralegal is handling every aspect of a transaction from the moment I receive the work request until the transaction is closed. My clients are not corralled through a series of hoops requiring them to remember the name of this week’s processor or paralegal. I am able to personally represent clients throughout the process of buying, selling or financing of real estate beginning with contract negotiation, due diligence review (title, survey, leases, inspection, appraisal and environmental), curative work and closing. My clients receive the benefit of having a professional and individualized real estate transaction customized to their needs. Just like real estate, every transaction is unique and deserves one-on-one attention.

    Beth Jones, Esq.
    Thompson | O’Brien
    40 Technology Parkway South, Suite 300
    Norcross, Georgia 30092
    (770) 925-0111 (phone); (770) 925-8597 (fax)
    EJones@tokn.com; http://www.tokn.com

  20. Michael Morse
    January 21, 2016 | 6:30 pm

    Yelp is a competitor many clients have either used or are familiar with. RevLocal is different from Yelp in that when you work with Yelp you are just being optimized on their web site. With RevLocal, there are no contracts (which Yelp does) and you are being optimized across about 150 different search engines including Google, Bing, and even Yelp.
    Our clients choose to work with us because we are a very transparent company, and we strive to build a relationship with every small business owner we work with.
    Having no contracts also means that we must prove our worth to our clients on a monthly basis.

    Michael Morse
    Business Development Manager
    M: (770) 815-2867

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