CeCe is standing in my home office and I’m staring down at her shoes as she asks, “Do you notice anything about my shoes today?” Thank goodness, I finally realize they are not the same shoe! Wow, they are almost the exact same color, appear to be the same style and very similar sole. The only difference I can really see is on top of the shoes where the laces (which are the same color) are styled differently. Why does anyone need two pairs of shoes this similar?
Now, CeCe is very passionate about her shoes. She even took a part-time job in a shoe store so she can spend more time with them. I will admit, she is a deadly shoe salesperson. Sometimes, she even makes enough to cover her personal “must-have” purchases. Ha!
This blog might be my last story about CeCe as shoes are sacred territory with her and I might be trespassing. So back to the original question, why would anyone need (or want) two pairs of shoes that are so similar you can easily put one of each on? I understand the penalty of trespassing and we are not going to attempt to answer that question in this blog — or ever on my part. But it resonated with how similar two CPA firms might appear to a client.
How similar are we in our messaging compared to other firms? What is distinctive about our compliance services? If compared our proposals to the competition, how similar are they? I always remember the words of the prospect after watching five firms present on an audit proposal. “If you changed the logo’s on the slides, each firm could have used any of the other firms’ slide decks. They were so similar that by the end of the day, I knew what they were going to say and present before they even started. Unfortunately, price was the only differentiation our committee could really see.”
Frankly, if we own it, it’s pretty easy for a client to put on a shoe from another firm and hardly tell the difference. The hard question for us to answer, the one that we rarely take head-on is: How are we distinctive? What differentiates our client experience?
The funniest part of this blog is that CeCe left my office, forgot about changing the shoe, and went out to the grocery store and a few other stops with two different shoes. LOL, I hope CeCe forgives me for trespassing and stays with us as she helps make us #beEvenBetter.