Nov 23, 2012

How to Communicate Your Unique Competitive Advantage

What is unique competitive advantage anyway?

It is the way you differentiate yourself from your competitors in your marketing communications. It is what gives you an advantage over your competitors, what makes you unique in the eyes of new clients.

There are many, many ways to create a unique competitive advantage. Mainly it is done by differentiating your clinic and business from others.

Here are six of the most common ways:

Your track record with your clients and patients
Your unique approach that gets better results
The targeted market you serve
Your guarantee of satisfaction
The extra value you provide to your clients
Specific deliverables in the area of quality, service, and price.

Let's go over each of these ways in more detail now:

1. Your track record with your clients and patients

If you are a successful physical therapy practice that has been pleasing clients for years, make sure your prospective new clients know exactly how you've been pleasing them. You should have several stories or case studies to relate that prove you deliver what you promise.

2. Your unique approach that gets better results

Creating a unique approach in your services and service delivery makes it easier for a client to understand what is unique about you, and can increase your professional credibility.

3. The targeted market you serve

When you have a targeted group of clients you serve and want to serve more, let them know what you know about them, their issues, and challenges. Connecting with them this way can be a very powerful advantage.

4. Your "guarantee" of satisfaction

The purpose of any guarantee is to reduce or reverse the perceived risk to the prospect of using your services. If you can promise in very specific ways how they cannot lose by working with you, you are ahead of the game. Many people are looking for guarantees before they spend their hard earned money.

The challenge in selling professional services, like physical therapy services, is that a money-back guarantee is not a very good idea. It would be, in many cases, very dangerous to offer this. However, there are ways to ensure clients they will be satisfied with the final results without a money-back guarantee.

5. The extra value you provide to your clients

It is NOT a great unique competitive advantage when the services you offer are pretty much the same as other physical therapy practices. What you can do is add some type of value or uniqueness to that service.

When you add value to a service that is often seen as any other physical therapy service, people start talking about you because of the value you add. That's what's memorable. When people ask you about your clinic, tell them about what makes you unique.

6. Quality, Service and Price

Many physical therapy practices try to differentiate themselves with one of these old standbys: quality, service and price. What's the problem with that? Simple. Everyone needs to have good quality, excellent service and a fair price. If you don't have these, you're no longer in business.

What is important and attention getting is to talk about quality, service and price very specifically. If you pride yourself on great quality how can you quantify that quality? I once knew a bookkeeping company that boasted that they had never lost a single client. Now you're talking quality in a way that I can relate to!

There are many other ways to differentiate your practice but these are the most common. Other factors that are often underestimated are personality fit and "gut feeling" that potential clients get about you when you meet. An individual perception of you as trustworthy and professional is often the key factor that differentiates your practice. People are willing to pay more if they find you easy to work with, and if you communicate well. This is why every 'touch' or connection point with your company - from business cards, to websites, to face-to-face meetings - needs to exude the message of approachability and warmth.

If your practice delivers a high quality service, and you deliver high value to your clients, this is not contestable. Your next step is to let others know about the unique value you could offer them, and then you will be creating the unique competitive advantage you want to grow your business and prosper in it.

Here are some practical and helpful tips:

Make no assumptions that people in your community, in your target market, and other professional services providers know what you do, or know enough about you to use your services.
Regularly and consistently let your community know what you are doing, who your target market is, and that you are open to referrals.
Regularly and consistently let your current clients know about all of the services you provide, what you do particularly well, and that you would appreciate referrals.
Be sure other professional services providers in your community are well informed about your practice and its services.

Physical therapy practice owners who want a better work-life balance and a smooth running operation with high client numbers learn how to have all of this. Erika Trimble President of Prosperous Physical Therapy and Business Coach has created the first ever business training programs dedicated exclusively to practice owners. Visit us at

Prosperous Physical Therapy

Copyright @ 2012 by Erika Trimble All Rights Reserved

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