Joe Calloway

Joe Calloway, author
Becoming A Category of One

This week’s Great Idea comes from Joe Calloway who will be spending all 3 days of GROW! 2012 with us.

You’re over-thinking it. You’re banging your head against the wall trying to figure out how to “think outside the box” and come up with a “WOW Factor” that will differentiate you from your competition. “What can I do that’s really different and exotic that no one else is doing?  Hmmmmm……”

You want a WOW Factor? Here’s the ultimate WOW Factor:  deliver on the customer’s most basic expectations better than everyone else and do it every single time.

The sad, cold, hard truth is that people and companies who are chasing the wild goose of WOW Factor are doing it because they can’t win on the basics. Because they can’t differentiate on price, quality, delivery, or service, they have to find a gimmick that they hope will pull their butt out of the competitive fire and win customers.

Thinking outside the box is all well and good. But here’s the deal:  if you win INSIDE the box – if you can actually do a better job on your customers’ basic expectations – you win it all. Game over. You get all the money and you live happily ever after.

You may be thinking, “No, Joe, it can’t be that simple.”  YES!  It is that simple. The reason you’re not doing it is because it’s not easy. In fact, it’s hard as heck to be better on the basics than the other guy. But it’s where you get your greatest return.

Look at Their sales are over a billion dollars a year. Their customers are wild, raving fans. And here’s where they win:  speed of delivery, free shipping, a great return policy, and fantastic customer service from their call center. They win inside the box. Nothing exotic. Nothing edgy.


Want more?  In-N-Out Burgers (great hamburgers and sparkling clean restrooms), FedEx (dependable delivery), Southwest Airlines (low fares, friendly employees), and the list goes on and on.

List the three to five most basic things that your customers expect from you. Pick one. Improve your performance on that basic expectation by 20%. Then move on to the next expectation and improve on that by 20%. Do this constantly and forever.

You win. Game over. We’ll carry on this discussion and many more at GROW! 2012; see you there!

Marty’s note: What a great idea! You need to sign up for GROW! 2012 today and come to Dayton to spend time with Joe Calloway and Larry Winget so you’ll be prepared to make 2012 your best year ever.

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