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What's So Special About You?
by JoAnna Brandi


Wherever I go lately, I find myself talking about value. The equation. The whole thing. Not just the "Is-it-a fair-price-for-the-quality?" value. Enduring value, the kind that builds loyalty. The more I speak, the more I study, the more I learn from working with clients, the more I am convinced that future success lies in the art of creating strong emotional ties in customer relationships - getting customers involved, engaged, and in love with what you do for them.

Let's face it, whatever you're selling, someone else is too. You can compete with features and speed, the latest whiz-bang enhancement, a better price, a bigger package. You'll get plenty of business. But it'll cost ya. Fancy marketing costs money, R&D costs money, new systems cost money. New customers cost money, but the ones you have, have already expressed an interest in creating a relationship with you. How are you doing with those relationships? Are you building trust, helping your customers to feel secure, making it easy to interact with you? Are you delivering ease, comfort, self-esteem, belonging, feelings of affection? Joy?

Granted, these things are challenging to give in today's hurry-up, rude, and stressed world. But if you don't start, who will?

What value do you, personally, give to the customer relationship (internal or external)?

What's makes interacting with you so unique, what personal contribution do you make to your relationships? After all, part of what your company is selling in the "customer experience" is you. Do you know what makes you special?

When I taught sales skills, I taught that you must figure out what your USP is. Unique Selling Proposition, that is. You must know clearly what you offer to the customer - benefits that they will derive if they decide to buy your product. Now I believe that every single one of us needs to know what our personal USP is, what value we bring, what qualities we contribute, as human beings to our business endeavors.

So naturally, before giving this exercise to you to do, I did it myself.

Find a quiet place and sit down with a cup of coffee and ask yourself, "What are the 7 things that are really special about ME?" Be brave, be honest, give yourself credit where credit is due. Are you funny, smart, engaging, passionate? Come on, play with this one. It's fun.

Here's what I came up with when I did mine.

JoAnna's USP
7 Points about what's really good about ME

  1. I have a lot of energy
  2. My intuition is terrific
  3. I know my topic well (and if I don't know something I can find it out)
  4. I'm curious
  5. I look at Customer "service" from a variety of different standpoints and understand a variety of different perspectives on it
  6. I have the ability to communicate with different people in different ways
  7. I have a sense of humor and am down to earth. I'm pretty real.

Now you do it. Write down the seven things that make you special, different, unique what is that special combination of qualities that make YOU great to know and do business with?

Was that fun? I hope so. Now, if you are still feeling adventurous write down the 7 unique things that you contribute to your work team (yes, some of them can be the same.) Are you a team player, do you ease the stress with your jokes, do you always value the common good, are you creative?

Having fun with this exercise? Share the joy and have your teammates play too. And it's nice to print them out somewhere as a reminder of YOUR personal USP.

Here's to YOU! Bring all of yourself to work everyday. Your customers and co-workers will enjoy your presence.

Take good care.


The Author

JoAnna Brandi

JoAnna Brandi is the Publisher of the Customer Care Coach® leadership program. She is the author of three books: "Winning at Customer Retention, 101 Ways to Keep 'em Happy, Keep 'em Loyal, and Keep 'em Coming Back" "Building Customer Loyalty - 21 Essential Elements in ACTION" and "54 Ways to stay Positive in a Changing, Challenging and Sometimes Negative World" JoAnna is an accomplished public speaker and a contributing author to numerous business publications. Her work in customer loyalty has been cited in Fortune Magazine, Sales and Marketing Magazine, The Executive Report on Customer Retention, US Banker, the Retail Advantage, The Kiplinger Letter, The Competitive Advantage and dozens of others.

You can subscribe to her bi-weekly Customer Care Tip for free and find more of her work at and .

Many more articles in The Customer Care Coach and Personal Development in The CEO Refresher Archives
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Copyright 2007 by JoAnna Brandi. All rights reserved.

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