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Be different, not better – How to supercharge your referrals as a decorator


Many businesses fall into the trap of trying to do the same thing as everyone else, but just doing it better.

However, that is often not the best way.

The problem is, when people are happy with what they’ve got, they are unlikely to try something new, just because it might be a bit better.

Here’s an example:

When Blockbuster was the king of video rental, many companies popped up trying to compete. They all tried to be better. They tried to be cheaper, offer more titles, offer longer rental periods etc.

But none of them really challenged Blockbuster for the top spot.

Until Netflix came along.

However, Netflix didn’t try to be a better version of Blockbuster. They focused on being different. They started delivering DVDs by mail and then ultimately via on demand streaming.

The titles they had were no better than Blockbuster, but it was a wildly different experience for the customer.

Because of this, anyone who used Netflix was excited to tell all their friends about it.

‘Have you tried Netflix!? They post the DVDs straight to you and there are no late fees!’

‘Have you tried Netflix!? You can stream films and series on your laptop!’

Nobody would be excited to tell their friends about the new video store in town which is a bit like Blockbuster but has a slightly different range of films.

Other quick examples:

Hello Fresh didn’t try to be better than other food delivery services like Tesco and Sainsburys etc. They were different. They just send the exact ingredients you need for each meal and a recipe card to help you cook it.

Air BNB is not better than a hotel. It’s just different. And once you’ve experienced an Air BNB you tell all your friends about it.

Nobody talks about how cool it was to stay in a Premier Inn or a Hilton. But they will tell you how awesome it was to stay in an Icelandic igloo.

And this is not a new concept…. go back in time and look at McDonalds when they started.

They didn’t focus on better quality food; they were different because they focused on convenience instead.

Imagine being one of the first people to have a McDonalds. Imagine telling your friends how you were served your food via a drive thru in under 5 minutes. It would blow their minds.

So, how do you use this concept to get more referrals as a decorator?

Simply think about all the things you can do that are DIFFERENT and will get your customers telling their friends about you.

‘You should try my decorator he….’

  • Gave me a load of clear storage boxes a week before so I could easily pack up my valuables.
  • Did a one hour colour consultation with us
  • Sprays
  • Does custom one piece murals
  • Worked outside of normal hours so we didn’t have to close the office
  • Sent me a card and a bottle of wine after the job was done

Whatever you do for your customers that makes you different, make sure you do it for everyone.

Do it consistently and you’ll soon have an army of customers going around telling anyone who’ll listen why they should hire you.

Remember, it’s much easier for a customer to explain to their friends how you are different…rather than how you are better.

So don’t be better! Be different!


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