As I’m heading up to Glendale (that’s a suburb of L.A. for the geographically challenged) this morning on the Amtrak Surfliner it dawned on me that the train is an ideal mode of transportation.
Between doing some work on my laptop, dozing off for about 30 minutes, talking on the phone without having to stick a Blue Tooth in my ear (California law) & watching Southern California roll by makes for a very pleasant 2:20 ride.
Best parts? I don’t have to worry one of Southern California’s most unpleasant experiences & that’s rush hour(s) traffic nor the inevitable rear enders that are associated with our traffic. I would be remiss in leaving out a phenonemon seemingly unique to So. Cal commuters & that’s the inability to drive in even the slightest drizzles of rain. Traffic accidents actually increase 4 times in the slightest inclement conditions & the weather talking heads have roving reporters out in the “eye of the storm” as we are forced to watch multiple updates on Storm Watch 2009!
But I digress…..
I know that on the East Coast trains, busses, subways, cabs are a part of everyday life but here in Southern California your car is an extension of you & the thought of living through one day without your car is like leaving your cell phone at home & will cause seperation anxiety for even the bravest of souls. It leaves you with a feeling of deserting your best friend.
I’ve actually come to enjoy catching the train, getting my ticket punched by friendlyAmtrak Ticket Takers, grabbing a window seat, sit back, enjoy the ocean view & let someone else do the driving. Try it sometime, I think you’ll enjoy it.
What skills do you have that make you different? Is product knowledge enough to keep a client or attract new prospects? What is IT about you that makes people want to do business with YOU?
Is product knowledge enough? I don’t think so. Anyone can learn just enough about a product to make themselves dangerous, yet appear competent, trustworthy & deserving of the prospects business. But what happens when the s%*t hits the fan? If all you’ve learned is project knowledge then it won’t take long for your customer to figure out your competency level.
What about passion for work? First let’s define the word passion. My definition is simple, “it’s having a deep affection or love for something or someone. Can you have a love for the work that you do? Absolutely. Unfortunately we most often hear about people who are dispassionate about their job. The ones who love their job just go about their business quietly & normally exceed the expectations that their job requires. Webster’s definition;” ardent affection: a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept.
So is passion enough to differentiate you from your competition? While it will make you more pleasant to be around just having passion isn’t enough. Pure passion can lead to making emotional decisions in stressful situations when a more business rationale is in order for some situations.
It’s my opinion that while product knowledge & passion are important pieces to the differentiator question it’s integrity that completes the equation. Wikipedia defines integrity as “a consistency of actions, values, measures, principles, expectations & outcome,”
You want to be better than your competition?
- Know more about your product than he does.
- Research his business & learn his industry.
- Have a deep seeded passion for what you do.
- Be consistent in your methodologies & you’ll become consistent in your outcomes.