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“Standing Out From The Competition”

Standing out from the competition

Last Thursday evening found me stepping into an independent bookstore in Monterey. Not the “old copy of Dickens” kind, more the “crystals and yoga” kind. I found a couple of books to buy, and the owner started to ring me up. I mentioned to him that I’d seen a tweet from another bookstore talking about people who “showroom,” at the store, and then just buy the books on Amazon.

He said it happened to him all the time. “Sometimes they are blatant about it, and buy it right in front of me on the app.” He went on to tell me a story of a local bank teller who was bragging about buying everything on Amazon. He leaned in a bit to me. “I bit my tongue, but I really wanted to remind him that local merchants put their money in his bank, and that ultimately his salary is paid by that.”

He has a good point. When products and services are bought locally, the proceeds pay for jobs in the community. Tax revenue goes to support local services such as police and firefighters. And healthy neighborhood merchants make our areas better places to live.

He mentioned that his busiest sales day of the year was Christmas Eve. Turns out that once the one-day shipping deadline has passed, Amazon is dead in the water for last-minute sales.

It really was an enjoyable conversation. At the end, I stuck out my hand and he shook it. “Try getting that on Amazon,” I said, and we both laughed.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking of your product or service only in terms of your closest competition. But there are likely many valuable benefits just waiting tor you to talk about them. And even giants such as Amazon have a weak spot. When you focus on what makes your offering unique, opportunities you never expected come into focus.

Time for you to implement. It’s Ron’s Monday Mission™:

Your challenge this week: rest.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate,


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