I was just walking to school with my little boy this morning and he was singing along rapping, pretending to be like Honey G.

It led me to think about who actually won X-Factor and I could not for the life of me remember.

I asked my wife and she could not remember either, but we both clearly remembered Honey G and so did my little boy!

Can you remember who won the X-Factor?  I bet you remember Honey G.

Obviously, Honey G was not the best contestant in fact she was quite far from it, so why do we all remember her rather than the ones who were technically better performers?

In fact if you think about competitions in the past we usually do not remember the winners, we remember people like the Cheeky Girls or Wagner, because different is better than better.

Ideally you are different and better (Susan Boyle), but this is not essential (Jedward).

The problem with just being better without being different is that everyone says that they are better. 

People will only know you are better after they have used your service and so it is often too late, because many procedures only need to be performed once.

You need to demonstrate a tangible advantage over your competitors to set yourself apart in a crowded market. 

It is about taking time to think about how you position yourself and how you present your services.

It may not involve actually doing anything different, but if you can present it in such a way that it stands out, then you have more of a chance of being remembered and that will give you a distinct advantage.

I do not think it will give you a long-term sustainable practice in itself because at the end of the day you will still need to deliver the goods and provide an excellent service, but it might just set you apart enough so that you have a career more like Lady Gaga rather than Matt Terry.

It does not have to be anything wild or wacky like wearing a meat dress, it could be something as simple a sending all your GP letters on good quality green headed notepaper, but half the battle is to be conscious of these things and always looking to improve your practice and service.

I was talking to a cardiologist at the last ‘How To Grow Your Private Practice’ meeting and he wanted to see more patients with arrhythmias.

I couldn’t help but think that the market was wide open for him.

If he could put together a 5-point arrhythmia health check, which could be something like:

  1. ECG
  2. 24hr tape
  3. Echocardiogram
  4. some relevant blood test
  5. CXR

I have just made that list up from my armchair knowledge of cardiology, and it could be a 3-point or 7-point health check – depending on what tests might be relevant.

Then start mentioning it whenever you can in every GP letter that you have a 5-point arrhythmia health check.

Perhaps you could email or send a flyer to the GPs on your database advertising the fact that you offer a comprehensive screening tool for patients suffering from arrhythmia.

It may be that any cardiologist worth their salt would perform those exact same tests for a patient with arrhythmia but the fact is that you are putting yourself out there as an expert with an interest in this and you have your ‘5 point arrhythmia health check’.

I saw an advert on the television for an insurance company that said that if you insure more than one car with them, you get a discount – they call it their ‘multi car policy’.

I am sure that other insurers would do this routinely, but this company decided to make it their own by calling it their ‘multi car policy’.

Don’t get mad – get even!

Ideally your different is better, but even if it is not, it is still good to think of ways that you can differentiate yourself from everyone else.

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