Rodney Hall, The Talon Group
In the movie, the crusty old cowboy Curly (Jack Palance) gives city slicker Mitch (Billy Crystal) a talk about the meaning of life. Essentially it comes down to "one thing," and Mitch wants to know what that one thing is. Curly can only explain it as being different for each person.
Companies are not much different. Although many builders might be similar, no two are identical. Each company has its own unique DNA that develops over time by the people who work there, the vendors they choose as partners and the product they deliver. Each company must identify what it is that sets it apart.
Most companies do a poor job delivering such information to their audience. Search online for interview books and you'll find tips on how candidates can better sell themselves in an interview. I've yet to see one that addresses it from the company side.
The marketing people refer to this as USPs: unique selling propositions. Simply put, USPs are the golden nuggets that set you apart from the competition. Good salespeople can recite them at the drop of the hat, but mosey outside that group and you don't hear much about them.
Here are a few examples of client USPs we've seen and promoted:
Survey your team members on what they feel sets you apart from the competition or puts you in the superior category. Then:
In addition to promoting your company, you establish a benchmark for future performance standards. And a unified message tends to take on a life of its own. When the message is a positive one, look out — that's when you become an employer of choice. Giddy-up.
|Rodney Hall is a senior partner with The Talon Group, a leading executive search firm specializing in the real-estate development and home building industries.|