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RPCN Newsletter - April 2022

A monthly newsletter from the Rochester Professional Consultants Network.

Differentiate or Lose the Race
(Stand Out or Lose Out)

Why You?
Customers have many options, so why should they choose you if you’re “plain vanilla”? Your challenge is to stand out from the crowd of competitors. Customers and clients select those who offer value that seems better than the others. So how can you stand out and not languish in last place? Differentiate!!!

How to Differentiate
(Let’s focus on services & clients)

Ask yourself: What can I offer clients that competitors do not? What is my “secret sauce”? Is it really that different, and what makes it so? What makes me unique? Let’s look at five of the many types of differentiators for you to consider. (Modify them for your enterprise.)

1. Industry & Size Focus
Choose a specific industry, then focus narrowly on the size and function you know well. If you provide financial services, you might help manufacturing startups find funding. Or, maybe facilitate mergers and acquisitions for large insurance companies. Focus your marketing on your target. To build credibility, exhibit your understanding of the challenges facing potential clients, and speak the industry “language”.

2. Service Specialization
Become known as an expert practitioner of a “narrow” service. Many of us are “blessed” with multiple skills. It’s tempting to advertise that you can provide many services that your “focus industry” might need - but this is “plain vanilla”. Instead, maybe offer “one-stop shopping”. For example, your specialty might be helping medical equipment manufacturers achieve FDA compliance after failing an audit. Your “one-stop secret sauce” could be to also provide Quality Procedures Training to avoid future audit failures.  

3. Unique Situations & Opportunities
The COVID Pandemic has caused many people to be laid off or have resigned to take a better-paying jobs. Others have quit to start a business and be their own boss. What needs exist for COVID-stressed companies or their former employees? If you’re a job-search and placement specialist, you might also offer a “startup school” to help budding entrepreneurs build their businesses.

4. Personalized Solutions
Clients like to feel “special”. This isn’t schmoozing and flattery. “Special” starts with insightful situation analysis, including questions and active listening to deeply understand a client’s problem (and ‘’pain”, needs, desires, goals, values, etc.). Also, confirm your conclusions and achieve agreement on what you’ll do, when you’ll do it, and expected client value. This is the opposite of “I have a hammer and you look like a nail.” What else can you do to make your client feel “special”, and so prefer you over others?

5. Specific Target Audience
Who are “narrowly-defined” sets of people you can help? What are their specific needs?  Narrowly defined could refer to spouses, partners, parents, retirees, children, grandparents, grandparents, divorces, and even snowbirds. (Or you could set different parameters.) If you’re a masseuse, how about a Massage Gift Card with a customizable message for partners: E.g. “I love you” or “I’m sorry, let’s make up after your massage”. Or, a childcare provider could offer a “Date Night at a Restaurant” package”, including babysitting for stressed-out parents. Be creative.

Verify
Test your differentiator assumptions. Which work best for you? Include potential-client interviews (i.e. “Customer Discovery”), market surveys, and market trials. Once you identify a good differentiator for your business, market it well, deliver on the promise, and win the race!.

Bob Lurz

Did You Know? 
Calendar of Events - Online Flyer

Did you ever want to know what kind of activities RPCN provides for its members and everyone else? One easy way to find all our events for the entire current month is to check the Calendar of Events, which is listed under Events on the main menu of the RPCN website.

This calendar was originally created by Mary Sperr with the idea that many people would be interested in seeing the entire month and that it could generate some income for RPCN. So, below the schedule, there are several paid advertisements relating to RPCN members and/or their businesses..

Initially, the Event Schedule flyer was printed, and passed out to the participants at RPCN meetings -- remember in-person meetings? Since COVID-19, the flyer has been added to the Calendar of Events on the RPCN website.

Effective in March, links to each advertisement have been added so that clicking on any ad will lead to either the website or email of that business.

This new feature serves two purposes:

  1. It allows the visitor to learn more about the individual businesses of the advertising members - with just one click.
  2. For minimal cost, it is a way for any business (yours?) to get excellent exposure to the community. Why? The newsletter is sent to well over 1,000 contacts.

Who knows? Some person who checks the calendar might be the one who clicks on your ad and brings business to you!

Here is an opportunity to let prospects know who you are and what you do. Once you find out what they need, your business can look brighter than ever!

Steve Royal

Across the Pond

In the United States we sometimes say that we speak the same language as is spoken in England but the truth is that, as Winston Churchill once put it, we are in fact “Two nations divided by a common language.”

My purpose today is to warn you of a few “across the pond” differences that can cause total confusion and, in some cases, very real embarrassment between those who speak American English and those who speak British English.

Let’s start with something relating to clothing…

In America… braces are those things that children wear to straighten out their teeth, usually during adolescence.

However, in England braces are those stretchy fabric things that go back to front across the shoulders of a few remaining men in order to hold up their pants… (which, incidentally, in England are usually called “trousers”).

And then again, “pants,” which in England are underwear for the lower part of the body.

My last example of differences in items of clothing involves vests. In America, if I have learned the language correctly, a “vest” is a sleeveless outerwear item that is worn on the top part of the body, mostly – but not solely – by men. Vests usually button or zip in front. They are sometimes worn for warmth, sometimes for fashion.

In England, a “vest” is also an item of underwear, also worn on the top half of the body, also worn for warmth (beloved of anxious mothers in the wintertime). BUT an English vest is an item of underwear.

We won’t even start on terminology regarding food, especially “biscuits.”

Now to the two terms that could possibly cause serious embarrassment (so don’t say you were not warned).

The humble American “eraser", often found at the end of a pencil… in England is named after the material from which it was originally made, hence known as “a rubber.”

Moving on is a story told to me as a warning by a well-traveled shipboard acquaintance when I was coming to the U.S. many, many years ago. For the benefit of an American listener she explained that, for British tennis players, before starting to play a serious game involving score-keeping, there is usually time spent warming up by informally hitting the ball back and forth. In England back then in the ‘60s – and perhaps no longer – that time is known as a “knock-up,” either as a noun or, as in a verb, “knocking up.” She continued by warning me that, In her first introduction to American tennis, she, in all innocence, asked her male partner “Shall we knock up first?”

Do not say you have not been warned…

Diana Gardner Robinson, Ph.D.

RPCN Video


Watch the introductory video here.

Upcoming RPCN Events

Visit the RPCN website for a list of all upcoming events.

Technical Forum
Friday, April 1, 2022
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

Building Your Resilience to Succeed
Presented by Sara Im
Friday, April 8, 2022
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Business Forum
Friday, April 15, 2022
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

RPCN Board Meeting
Everyone is welcome to attend.
Friday, April 15, 2022
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. 

Enhancing Human Capital Lunch N' Learn: Creating a Competitive Advantage By Aligning Interests
Thursday, April 21, 2022
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Professional Development Opportunities with SUNY ATTAIN
Presented by Alicia Ward
Friday, April 22, 2022
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Enhancing Human Capital
Lunch & Learn Updates

Last Month's Lunch-n-Learn

We held another RPCN EHC Lunch –n- Learn on Thursday, March 17 at 11:30 AM on Zoom and discussed Building Trust Through Private Victories - Covey’s 1st 3 Habits in Action. We had about fifteen attendees. The discussion was lively and centered around the first three of Stephen R. Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Upcoming Lunch-n-Learn: April 21
Creating a Competitive Advantage by Aligning Interests

Meaningful success requires getting other people to help you accomplish your goals. The problem is that it’s not always easy to get them to do what you are hoping for.  We’ll look at ways to make sure that everyone’s goals are at least sufficiently compatible to ensure success.

RPCN’s Enhancing Human Capital Lunch-n-Learns are held via Zoom on the third Thursday of every month beginning at 11. Please join us for the next installment on April 21, 2022. Our program starts and 11:30 a.m. and runs until 1:00 p.m. To get more information about EHC, please contact the EHC team.

From the Librarian,
Ruth Balkin

This one’s for you, Barb Ingrassia:

Latest & Greatest - The Copyright Handbook
Ex Libris Juris: Harris County Hainsworth Law Library / 3.17.2022 / *Author Is AALL Member*
Introduction: Be honest. How many of you have considered, or at least thought about, writing the next great American novel, or perhaps documenting your life and experiences in a memoir? If so, it has probably crossed your mind that you need some way to protect your creative effort from unwanted copying. This is the point where the law of copyright steps in and where confusion surfaces. 

New Digitization Project Preserves Holocaust Survivors’ Identities
Jewish Boston
 / 2.28.2022
Introduction: In the aftermath of World War II, a courageous rabbi compiled lists of Holocaust survivors in Europe in hopes of connecting them with loved ones. Now, thanks to a unique partnership based in Western Massachusetts, these lists are online for anyone to search for free.

Request from the Editors

When submitting material to be included in the RPCN newsletter, please:
1. Send the submission TO newsletter@rochesterconsultants.org and not to individuals.
2. Include the words “For RPCN Newsletter” in the subject line. (Some people send articles to ALL RPCN members themselves, and it is often difficult to distinguish those that are being circulated independently from those intended for inclusion in the newsletter.)

Membership Information

Not an RPCN member? You can join RPCN now to receive great benefits, including free admission to RPCN presentations, a listing in the RPCN Member Directory, and discounts to RPCN events. Click here for more information on joining RPCN.

New members:
Terry Callanan
Peter Connell
Brittni Smallwood

Program Ad Sheets

At every RPCN meeting, and at our events and tradeshow booths, RPCN distributes the Program Ad sheets.

Ads are inexpensive and support RPCN. The cost for members to advertise is $20 for 2 months. For non-members, the cost is $40 for 2 months. The deadline to get your ad included in the May/June 2022 calendar ad sheet is April 22, 2022. Send questions and ad copy to Mary Sperr.

We want your news!

The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item to newsletter@rochesterconsultants.org for inclusion. 

Melanie Watson, Publisher 
Diana Robinson, Copyeditor

The deadline for submitting material for our next newsletter is the 21st of this month.

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