3 Ways to Separate Yourself From Those Who Sell the Same Thing You Do

Author : , Date : March 23, 2015



Is there anything really unique or different anymore? Maybe there is, but it’s probably very rare and there is probably someone out there who is selling something that though different achieves the same result that you do but in a different way.

Even if you are unique or different you probably won’t be for long if you achieve any level of success or someone believes they can take your great idea and make it better or make money from it.

How do you really separate yourself from your competition?

It’s the age old question right?

How do I allow someone to buy from me when “x” number of people sell the same thing I sell?


I can already hear some of you saying; “I don’t have any competition.”

Yes you do! You just may not be aware of who it is or what they are specifically offering and how they are establishing themselves as more competent and credible than you are.

We all have competition in some way and to deny that is not realistic.

What I’m not trying to do is to convince you to get hyper competitive. That will only lead you down a one-way street and I’m pretty certain you don’t want to go there.

What I want you to learn in this article is a way that you can earn the business from those who “should” be doing business with you because they resonate and connect with you and your message.

There are only two reasons I try to understand my competitors:


  1. I want to find out where my own areas of improvement may be at.
  2. To discover if there is a way to make them a friend and a collaborator. After all, we don’t all do the exact same things and not everyone is going like to me; so why not collaborate together where we can and do what’s best for the prospect or customer and for my business. (Trust me, I had to learn this one the hard way and you’ll see an interesting example at the conclusion of the article).


With that said; how do we help our prospects and customers buy from us if we sell the same thing that another company, organization or individuals sells?

Here are 3 ways to separate yourself from those who sell the same thing you do…


#1 – Know Thy Business


This is where knowing what business you’re “really” in is so important and critical to finding your unique voice and personality, and giving people a reason to buy from you.

When I ask a fellow business owner or entrepreneur “what business are you “really” in?” I’m simply asking for a quick, succinct and concise message of how my life is going to be made better by getting to know you and perhaps buy from you.

Is the message interesting, relevant, inspiring and are you going to make a difference in my life or business?

This question applies to both offline and online; in person and on your website and social media.

Think of it like this; whenever someone asks you “What do you do?” how do you answer?

It’s really the same question.

For 95% of us it’s either a quick tell them what we sell or we get too cute and make ourselves sound like a slick willy.

But what if you could say it in a way that is authentic, genuine and they know exactly the difference you make without ever telling them what you sell; yet they still know what you sell?

So what do I mean?


“Have you ever felt that something is deeply wrong with your marketing? Do you feel that you have a good business but it could be a BETTER business and all you need to do is figure out how to message your business in a such a way that you empower people to buy from you!”


Doesn’t that sound so much better than: “I consult, coach and train business on how to improve their marketing and sales.. blah, blah, blah.”

cb-phoneSometimes at events I like to just watch the room. Occasionally I’ll notice that one person who’s talking and the other is pretending to listen. I sometimes wonder if the listener hears a voice that sounds like what Charlie Brown hears when he’s on the phone? You can just tell the listener isn’t listening, doesn’t care and his or her mind is somewhere else.

Here is the cool part… when you have done the hard work in your business and learned what business you are “really” in you can adapt and change your message depending on the audience.

If you’re in person you can ask a few quick questions to learn about them or if it’s online you can be really specific via landing pages or blog articles that talk to the individual’s problem, need or desire.

But, if you don’t know your business and you haven’t done the work to learn your prospective customers then it doesn’t matter. You will be stuck at just telling people what you do and to be honest they don’t care because they already seen a few others that look and sound just like you.

“Iny meany my nemo… I choose the one behind curtain number three.”

Congratulations you just became a prize in a game show.

The difference between you and your competitors is not in telling them what you offer. It’s in showing them you are competent and giving them a reason to connect with you at a personal level. If you can do that then you can establish a relationship but not before it; and then they will have a reason to buy from you.


#2 – Build Competency and Show People You Can Solve Their Problems


There are only two reasons that someone spends their hard earned money:


  1. They need to solve a problem.
  2. They just want it for their own reasons – enjoyment, satisfaction or compulsion.


Why are some people willing to pay more money for something than others?


  • Quality of the product or service.
  • Reputation and social proof that it’s the best.
  • They are one of the first to get it (think of people who stand in line for days when a new iPhone is released).
  • Convenience.
  • Luxury and prestige
  • It meets a direct need both real and perceived


If you can come up with more I would love to learn your perspective in the comments below so please do share!!!


When someone comes to your website or if they connect with you on social media they have to figure out in seconds if your website is worth their time or not worth their time.


The technology will not generally determine their opinion of you; your message and how clear you are around your prospects and their needs will determine their opinion of you!


When you know how to communicate the problems your product or service solves for someone and you can articulate it you immediately separate yourself from all the people screaming “buy, buy buy. I have the best prices.”

By demonstrating you are competent and that you truly understand your prospects and customers you will start attracting the right people to your website, social media, blog, videos, podcast and the front door of your business.

You will attract customers who are able, willing and ready to buy from you.

Who doesn’t want that?

We all want it, but few are willing to do the work required to earn it.


Wait, There is a Problem… My Prospect Knows More Than Me


know-it-allHave you ever run into that one person who seems to know more than you do?

I mean, they say they understand everything you are sharing with them and they truly believe they are doing it; but when you look at their messaging and the lack of clients and new sales it’s clear they don’t.

I don’t know about you, but I run into this one occasionally and there is a great way to work with them so that they see and want to buy you even more!

Just ask a lot of questions and let them discover the answers for themselves and remember this is their baby. They may feel defensive and think to themselves “who is this person to come in and tell me…”

Let them go through the process and don’t push them into a corner aggressively. It’s not fun getting bitten, lol… But that’s exactly what will happen if you’re not careful.

If you can help them discover for themselves by praising them for the good work they’ve done and then help them see where they could improve; it will be worth it to work together!!!

By listening, affirming and then helping someone work through how things could be better you are establishing that you are competent and able to help them. You are actually giving them a powerful reason to buy you instead of giving them a reason to run from you.

Once you’ve earned the right to make a difference for them; then you can be more straightforward because they know your motive.

In all likely hood, your competitors are discounting a challenging sale without realizing that sometimes those who take the longest to buy may end up being your biggest champions. They seem difficult in the moment but they are in the long-run going to be one of your best customers.

They will refer people to you and they will tell the world how awesome you are!

I have learned to allow people to go through their process and in doing so experience me in a totally different way… a way that is personal, genuine and authentic. I can’t buy that but I can earn it!

Here is the other side, if your prospects are unwilling to overcome their own insecurities or fears; then you have to move on. You can’t help them and nor should you try. That will only cost your business money and perhaps resentment towards you on their part.


#3 – Build a World Class Company That People Love


When you have complete clarity around your business you can have the business you want and your customers have a reason to buy from you over the competitor that only talks about what they do.

By clarity I mean:


  • You know the tangible values your clients receive when they work with you.
  • You know the “specific” problems each tangible value solves.
  • You know “specifically” who you solve those problems for.
  • You understand how your products or services are “a” part of a solution.
  • You can define quickly, succinctly and concisely the business you are “really” in.


Want to learn something today that is really free and really cool?

When you have this kind of clarity you actually learn a lot more than you could ever imagine about your business. You can learn more how to create the experiences that people will love when they buy from you.

That could mean you learn how to improve:


  • The quality of your product or service.
  • Your processes and systems that make your business more efficient and profitable.
  • How to give people what they want quicker through automation.
  • How to build a genuine relationship between your business and the customer that creates real two-way loyalty.
  • How you “really” make a difference in people’s lives.
  • Make more money than you’ve ever made before.


That is what makes a world-class company!

I want to go back briefly to the beginning. Not everyone is meant to buy from you. So, why not get to know your competitors and figure out how to make some win-win relationships:


  1. For the customer
  2. For you
  3. For your collaborative partners


What really separates you from others is your willingness to do what is right for everyone and collaborate together. There is plenty to go around for everyone.

I was just talking with a friend who works for a company that manufactures a radar system for the U.S. Department of Defense.

These massive corporations have learned that they can make more money when they collaborate. My friend’s company contracts GE, Lockheed and Boeing to manufacture and assemble certain components that are needed that they cannot do themselves.

By collaborating these competitors are actually protecting their own interests and ensuring their futures as they share the wealth among each other. There are times it doesn’t make sense to invest dollars in something that someone else already has available. It costs a fraction to pay their partner companies to do what they can’t do for themselves.

Big business has learned this lesson and as small and medium sized businesses we should as well.


Are you ready to discover what business you’re “really” in and gain clarity about your business, prospects and customers?

Are you ready to learn how to build the right kind of competency that will lead the right prospects and customers to you who ready, able and willing to buy?

Are you ready to build a world-class company?

Are you ready to stop competing and start collaborating towards a better and brighter future?

If so, I want to offer you a free 60 minute consultation to learn more about you and your business. I promise not to waste your time or my time. I guarantee you will learn one thing you can take and use to make your business better immediately.


If you want that, click here and learn more about the foundations of internet marketing and contact me today!




Do you have a comment or question; please leave it below in the comments section and let’s get the conversation going!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Don Purdum

Don Purdum

Don works with businesses to help them discover who their customers are and what business they are "really" in. He is an award-winning blogger and branding / marketing consultant.
Don Purdum
BEFORE COMMENTING We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Links are not allowed in the comment and they will be removed. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here

26 thoughts on “3 Ways to Separate Yourself From Those Who Sell the Same Thing You Do

  1. Hi Don,
    Understanding the clarity of a business is all that is required to gain more from marketers. There is no doubt that we get what we deserve even in business. To separate our business and core values from those of the competition then this excerpt from the post should be words on the marble for marketers

    “The difference between you and your competitors is not in telling them what you offer. It’s in showing them you are competent and giving them a reason to connect with you at a personal level. If you can do that then you can establish a relationship but not before it; and then they will have a reason to buy from you.”

    I shared this comment in kingged.com as well

    1. Hi Sunday,

      Clarity is the key to success; as I said in my article today on this blog. If you don’t have it then the audience won’t have it either. How are they supposed to buy? Why are they supposed to buy? And most importantly why from you?

      Thank you again for commenting and sharing your perspective Sunday.

      Have a great week!

      ~ Don

  2. Hey Don,

    I had to check out this post first since I’m late reading this one.

    I totally agree with you about not being in their face and always eager to share with your prospects and potential customers how darn great we are. I’m SO turned off by anyone who is eager to tell me how great their stuff is when they haven’t even taken the time to get to know me or ask me the right questions.

    It’s the same thing as people emailing me asking me to share their posts telling me they read my blog ALL the time yet I’ve never seen one comment or share from them.

    I use to be one of those that worried about whether or not someone would even be interested in what I did because others do the same thing or have the same product or service. All I did though was put myself in the shoes of those out searching for what it is that I do and knowing what they need from me. When you step outside of yourself for just one moment and help someone else that’s way more fulfilling then an actual sale. They will come in time but that is what sets us apart.

    If I have someone who is willing to spend the time with me explaining things in a way I understand I’ll go with that person over the other even if what they share is less expensive. I want to know that they really are eager to help me and that’s how I figure who is more valuable to me than the other. Your product or service could easily solve my problem too but I want to know you’ll be there for me, that’s huge.

    Great share and of course I love what you teach us Don. Hoping everyone else does as well.

    Enjoy your week.


    1. Hi Adrienne,

      You get those emails too? I thought it was just me?

      People constantly message me on social media or email me asking me to comment and share on their posts; yet I’ve never seen them before.

      So let me get this straight… you want me to give you something but I have no idea who you are?

      Whenever I meet someone new through a blog or social media; I only have one goal; give them value. If I’ve done that for a while and they don’t reciprocate I’m okay with that; but I also have to move on and come back when I can to learn something new.

      I am so grateful you shared what motivates you to learn more and maybe even buy from someone.

      Thank you Adrienne!

      ~ Don

  3. I have to agree with @AngelBiz:disqus . Customer service is big for me. If I feel like I didn’t have a good experience and you don’t care, I won’t be back.

    I’ve noticed that when I deal with companies. I have actually paid a bit more for a product that another company was selling cheaper because I felt the company I purchased from was worth it. They had superior customer service and provided detailed expert advice. I’m willing to pay for that, I feel it was deserved.

    Personality is impactful too. For some services you have to click with the provider. People can be drawn you and your business due to the life you put into it.


    1. Hi Lea,

      I agree as well, but as I said to Harry what about for those businesses who don’t know us or anything about us? Customer Service doesn’t get them in the door or on the website since they don’t have the experience yet.

      Great point about what you’re willing to pay for! I am sure many people feel that way. I know I do!!!

      And, I really like your closing point. I couldn’t agree ore Lea!!!!!!!

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you have a great week.

      ~ Don

  4. One of the best approaches I have found to separate from competition selling the same products is through customer service. When you provide top-notched service and don’t give the customer to go anywhere else you have the customer for life. This is approach Amazon and Zappos has taken. They are selling pretty much commodity products that many others sell as well. It is through customer service that they keep customers coming back.

    1. Hi Harry,

      I am with you 100%, especially after you have a customer and are earning repeat sales. But what about those people who don’t know your business and have no experience with you? They don’t know about your customer service.

      I am absolutely convinced in 10 years of business that in order to separate ourselves we must do that hard work inside our business and gain the necessary clarity to give people a reason to get to customer service.

      I hope that makes sense?

      I appreciate your comment and I do hope to see you back.

      I hope you had a great weekend are looking forward to a great week ahead!

      ~ Don

  5. Hey Don,

    I really liked when you said:

    “What really separates you from others is your willingness to do what is right for everyone and collaborate together.”

    This is golden here! I learned this way of thinking at a real estate seminar. The speaker showed us how much everyone benefits if we all lend each other a lending hand in order to help our renters out as well as ourselves.

    Showing Competency is a vital step before talking about what you sell. People want to be able to know and trust you first (yes, the know, like and trust factors). We get told this over and over again but yet a lot of us don’t practice this.

    I like what Andrew said about USP. The USP is going to help you stand out from the crowd. When you have a great, standing USP it doesn’t matter if your competition sells the same thing or not because you’re going to attract the right people to you!

    Hey Don, this was a great topic and thanks for sharing this! Have a great weekend!

    I found this post on kingged.com under the category of Internet Marketing


    1. Hi Sherman,

      It’s really quite interesting to study businesses and think about those that are successful from those who are not.

      Yes, I agree about the USP, but the USP is not something that you just come up with… it has to be discovered and I think the real key to getting that USP down solid is through the process I mention of gaining clarity. You know, my favorite questions.

      I did have a great weekend. Thanks so much from stopping by!

      ~ Don

      1. yes that’s true, I’ve been trying to come up with another USP myself and you definitely have to go through this process of gaining clarity. Coming up with a USP isn’t a one time deal

  6. Hey Don,

    I think marketing also plays a part too in separating yourself. Two products could be equally as good but the better marketer will win everything.

    Like you mentioned I think it’s good to check out the competition and part of that process should be monitoring how they sell/advertise to their customer’s.

    Common traits among the competitor’s marketing usually means it what works. But you also have opportunity to see what they are not doing and what you could experiment within your own marketing plan.


    1. Hi Naomi,

      That’s exactly what I’m talking about Naomi; how do I market myself in a way that separates me from my competition. What is the differential? Is the product or the message if we are all selling the same thing?

      I want to know what my competition is doing because you never know if they have an interesting spin on something.

      But, in the end I want the message to be uniquely me for my unique target audience who is ready, able and willing to buy.

      Thank you for your comment. I hope you have a great week!!!!

      ~ Don

  7. Hey Don,

    Great post.

    People that think that they have no competition don’t know what??? They don’t know what business they’re really in. That’s what.

    There’s competition everywhere, but the thing is, we’re our own biggest competition. Or at least we should be.

    And regarding those that sell the same things that you do, the best thing that can always give you the best chance is to have a USP. Once you know what your USP is, you wouldn’t care if your competition sells the same thing as you … because each time you’ll kick their butt.

    I see it especially in blogging. It’s obvious that so many people talk about the same things over and over again .. it gets tiring really. So, after seeing that, I write about different things … how I write it is different … and I’m planning on taking my blog in a new direction actually. And hopefully that direction will separate me for good.

    – Andrew

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Excellent point my friend. When I started Unveil the Web to share with people how the web works for business I intentionally decided against talking about all of the normal conversations.

      * How to Build a Twitter Following
      * Facebook Rules of engagement
      * Why you need a website

      … how to’s are everywhere. But the conversation around the business foundation that ought to come before the how to’s are not so easily found or discussed.

      I knew that would be an immediate separator. Talk more about business and get the business and message right so that the technology doesn’t expose that. I really believe that’s why most businesses are not successful online.

      I’m looking forward to see what direction you take your blog in Andrew.

      Have a great weekend!

      ~ Don

  8. Hi Don

    Creativity does have a limit but the showcasing of creativity is always unlimited. This is the basic point we buy from a certain company despite its selling by several other companies.

    Here showcasing should be taken in a broader term. It simply doesn’t mean just marketing but it does including brand awareness, brand image, customer care and trust factor as well.

    Bread is made by flour everyone knows this fact. Bread does have same kind of quality everywhere. But why a few brands are famous worldwide though their prices are also not much competitive. It is the brand and trust factor that people just have to mention its name and get the bread to take it their home or office.

    That position can’t be achieved in months and sometimes years are insufficient but ultimately once it is done then a seller has to create and showcase and rest of the job is done by itself with branding push.

    Thanks a lot for sharing such thought-provoking post.

    1. Hi Mi,

      Thank you for sharing my friend! Great point you make here when you say: “brand awareness, brand image, customer care and trust…”

      Those things play a definite part in separating ourselves from the competition. I think your metaphor for bread is fantastic and I love the illustration. The basic ingredients are the same to make bread, but one slight change and you get a different outcome.

      I appreciate your comment Mi!

      I hope you have a great finish to your week.

      ~ Don

  9. Hi Don, really loved this post, you’ve done a grand job getting the message across about the importance of being unique, authentic, caring, understanding and most importantly ‘helpful’, being an individual of value in your online business or owning a blog can go a long way.

    Being a person of value is what I try to stand for I’d say about 80% of the time. I try my best to go out of my way, beyond the call of duty to help others in my niche with their problems. I’m not always able to solve everyones dilemmas, but I do try. Whether it’s help with WordPress, blog design, coding or whatever.

    I also try and carry that into my blog writing, If I’m writing a post and I figure out it has no end value to anyone other than myself, I don’t publish it. Whether it’s a how to post, a case study, strategy post, blog interview, what ever. If there’s nothing for the reader to take away and implement immediately, what’s the point? So what I try and do to separate myself from blogger B and C, D E and F is over deliver.

    Thanks again Don, keep up the awesome work buddy 🙂

    1. Hi Fabrizio,

      Thanks for the kind words! If we don’t learn how to talk the language of our clients and prospects and if we don’t make the attempt to resonate with them where they are at then we will always be just what we are.

      Nothing more and maybe a whole lot less.

      I really like how you are approaching your writing and blog! Keep up the great work and know that your efforts will pay off big time!

      Have a great evening Fabrizio and thank you for stopping by!

      ~ Don

  10. Hi Don,

    The more you speak your word, genuinely, the easier it is to outdistance anybody else in your niche. Smart points!

    I love #3. I have patiently, through creating in depth, helpful content, built a neat blog unlike any in my niche. Not because I say this, but because it’s coming from my heart. What a fun, exciting way to stand out from the crowd. Truth is, if you speak your voice, and come from an authentic place, you can’t help but to create something worldwide and epic, a blog or a business that separates you from anyone in your niche, on earth.

    I just went with a new niche, and also, with my stories – and story telling – because no one can tell my stories like I can, and no one can solve problems through my stories like I can. Same holds true for every entrepreneur on earth. If you speak your story, and stick to it, and gain greater clarity around your business you will become world class.

    Don, super 3 points. Thanks!

    Tweeting from Bali.


    1. Hi Ryan,

      I’m so excited you like #3. I really felt it was important to say that we ought to focus on building world-class businesses that people love!

      They love it so much they consume our content, share it, refer us and buy us. When we know our business and prove we are competent then #3 really happens naturally… with a little bit of extra effort.

      You have gotten really good a story telling! In fact so good because you’ve found the uniqueness in your voice through the stories that only you can tell. Others could try but it would be you… and that’s the key is we all have to find our own unique way.

      Great comment Ryan! I appreciate you my friend!

      ~ Don

  11. Hi Don,

    Yes, we are too many people on this planet not to have any competition at this point. The world is a crowded place LOL.

    However, as you said, we do have a unique voice. As unique as our literal voice. no too people have the exact same one.

    Nobody will ever explain or write exactly like we do. Nobody will ever have the same background that we have, so we definitely need to learn to play with that.

    To be sure, we need to be considerate when we try to help people and would want them to become our customers. We can’t just tell them that what there’re doing is wrong, or that they don’t know what they’re doing, or worse even making them feel that we are “better’ then them.

    Somebody made me feel just like that not too long ago, and that’s not a pill easy to swallow. I can’t even imagine anyone wanting to do business with me if I make them feel this way. So, this experience was a good lesson for me which taught me not to do that to anyone.

    What I like among us entrepreneurs and blog owners is that I feel that we are doing what you’re advising here, we do try to collaborate no matter what, even if we help people in a similar way.

    I feel that I know enough about the law of attraction to know that what you send out gets back to you. Cause and effect. So we need to remember that as well. I know I do.

    Thanks you or another great article.

    1. Hi Sylviane,

      I so appreciate you and your comments. You are getting so awesome at bringing that extra bit of value to my readers and I really appreciate that!!!

      I actually had to correct a “so called” business coach the other day in Starbucks after his client left. He scolded that person and as bad as that was; he did in public in front of people.

      You don’t have to talk to people like that; just lead him to self discovery and if he chooses not to accept it then privately tell him the potential consequences in a way that he realizes the coach cares.

      I love collaboration and you are EXACTLY right! Many of us doing just that and we are running from the scarcity that is keeping us from fulling our potential.

      Thanks again Sylviane!

      ~ Don

  12. Hi Don,

    Indeed, we have to stick out of the crowd somehow. The only way I know how to do that is just be myself. Then I like to over-deliver. When I came out with my first product people were wowed! So, I repeat the process over and over again. I love that “wow factor” because if someone will opt into one of my products and/or services, I like to give them more than they expected.

    I did this offline with my business and to this day, even my long term clients get wowed. The thank you notes I receive from people just warm my heart.

    If someone asks me what I do, I can tell them in a few words. I think that’s what we all need to do. Being able to know your business so well, that we can convey it all in one sentence. Then, they either are interested and want to know more, or not.

    As long as we know our business, and know who will or will not be interested in what we do, the journey starts. I call it a journey because it is. Each and every person we come in contact with will either journey with us or not.

    Money? HA….that always follows! Just as long as you know it.


    P.S. Thanks for the mention Don and by the way, they are still pouring into that post you were a guest on. 🙂

    1. Hi Donna,

      Great point! So many have a hard time just being themselves; don’t they?

      Plan, implement, execute, create raving fans and then do it over; that sounds like a winning recipe to me!!! I love it when a plan comes together so beautifully.

      I really like that you see your life and business as a journey because I agree with you 100%!!! Some will want to get onboard and the majority won’t. That’s okay though because I only want those who want to be on the journey with me.

      I appreciate you and thank you for a great comment!!!

      ~ Don

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge