Would you buy a saw from a man with missing fingers?

Competitive advantage

I’m going to share an important lesson about exploiting a competitive advantage, but first, you need to read this true story…

“Mike,” Patti said. “You’re going to cut off your fingers.”

“No, it’ll be fine, Patti. You just need to know what you’re doing. There are all kinds of safety features on new saws.”

Patti and Mike are my in-laws. Patti was understandably concerned about the purchase of a new table saw given Mike’s hands earned their income as a dentist at the time.

They headed on to the hardware store with Patti skeptical and Mike confident in his decision to purchase a new saw. After a bit of browsing, a polite salesperson came over to check on them. He asked a few questions, built some rapport, and eventually zeroed in on the model that would check all of Mike’s boxes. Mike was ready to buy the Porsche of saws.

And then they saw it…

This saw salesman was missing three fingers on his right hand.

He began pointing out features on the saw with his nubbed fingers, but Mike and Patti didn’t hear a word of it. All they could see was missing fingers. The voice in both of their heads was now screaming, “You’re going to cut off your fingers.”

Obviously, they walked out of the store without purchasing a saw. And that brings me to my point, compete where you have an unfair advantage—not a disadvantage.

A man with no fingers should be selling safety equipment, not saws. Who the hell is going to buy a saw from a man with missing fingers?

But safety equipment, I’m going to listen to his story and buy whatever he tells me to buy. I want to keep my fingers. A man with missing fingers is a solid authority on safety equipment.

This is the power of finding your competitive advantage.

Same salesperson, drastically different results thanks to finding his competitive advantage on the sales floor.

This same logic applies to your company’s competitive advantage. Give your brand an unfair advantage. Find the niche where your competitors are selling with missing fingers and go flaunt your full ten digits.

And if you’re the brand selling with missing fingers, pivot your positioning and use those battle scars to show your authority and earn trust. Make those missing fingers your advantage over the full-fingered flood of competitors.

If you enjoyed this little tidbit of a tip, you should jump on our mail route where we serve these up every Friday.

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