If you’re looking for a heart surgeon to handle your quadruple bypass, you don’t want to settle for the second best in town, do you? You want the person who, as far as you’re concerned, is “the best”.
Suppose you’re looking to increase your company’s headcount. As you peruse the seemingly endless list of candidate CVs, are you looking to hire the most average? Or are you looking to take on the best?
As customers, we’re all naturally drawn to seeking out the best. The best qualified, the best fit, the best quality, the best features. But what defines someone – or something – as being The Best?
Often our choice is influenced by our perception of receiving a greater level of value, one that overrides any difference in price. Fans of Apple computers may feel that the added-value lies in the list of software that’s included as part of buying a new Mac – stuff like iPhoto, GarageBand or iMovie – as well as great industrial design, reduced susceptibility to computer viruses, and so on.
“The best” is no longer a single choice
But the best isn’t a single choice any more. In the old days there was often the market-leading incumbent that, via history, sheer size or presence, dominated their space. Today there are a zillion spaces, all looking for a “best” to come along and dominate it. There’s no longer a car rental company without equal, one brand of TV without peer or one single malt scotch that’s head and shoulders above the rest.
We look for what we consider to be the best. Sports car fans may prefer Porsche to Ferrari. Photographers are often in either the Canon or Nikon camp. Maybe we want to buy a HTC One phone rather than an Apple iPhone 5, because we see the HTC as being the best.
Being seen as the best brings with it many advantages, of course. You’re usually automatically in with a chance of closing the sale, for example. But there’s another reason: By definition, your competitors are seen as being a grade or two lower down the scale. Only a few can be at the top step, which brings rarity. And with rarity comes demand.
Near the top isn’t good enough
Too many companies seem content in having their business being seen as “amongst the top”. It’s almost as though they don’t think that they’re good enough to be Number One. The problem there is that, unless your business is seen as being something special, your customer can’t see you.
Today, for a customer to consider buying from you, they need to be convinced that you’re the best choice – for them, at this particular point in time, based upon their list of influencing factors. Based upon what they see from you, and what they hear about you, they need to be reassured that your business value proposition is right for their needs.
The great thing about best is that, today, it’s subjective. More importantly, it’s something that the customer defines. Your business doesn’t have to be the best in the world.
Just the best in their world.