5 Basics

Recently I was taking the exams to renew my Texas Real Estate license, which I have had since early 2003. I was struck by the simplicity of one of the principles on the test which was taken from a gold standard in the field of business books, The Myth of Excellence by Crawford and Matthews. They referenced that every business transaction can be broken down into 5 basic attributes: Price, Product, Access, Service, and Experience.

Regardless of the industry, the size of organization, or if we are the actual ‘transaction’ in question – these attributes are the constant. And the other truism is that it is very difficult (if not impossible) to be the very best at every single attribute. The key is to dominate the competition on one attribute, differentiate from the competition on the second attribute and be on ‘industry par’ on the other three attributes.

Think about it – Walmart dominates on price and differentiates on product. Ritz Carlton dominates on experience and differentiates on service. Sewell Lexus in Dallas dominates on service and differentiates on quality. Every organization has the ability to choose their strategy and execute where they can become #1 in their space.

The same is true with each of us in our professions and our roles in our respective organizations. We build our reputations and brands based on how we fulfill these same attributes. Are we accessible to our people, our customers, our partners? Are we a subject matter expert on anything? (We need to be!) Are we in service to our clients and meet them when and how they need us? Do we bring and apply our experience, track record, and knowledge acquired through our journey up until now?  We are the product – and these are just a few of the attributes we can bring to the table.

There is nothing revolutionary about this particular blog, yet this basic approach helped remind me to put things into a concise framework. As many of you have heard from me say, our brand is built through consistency. What do we want others to think, say, or do each time they interact with us?  Our brand is built through a combination of these 5 basic attributes – and how we ‘show up’ each and every time.

5 responses to “5 Basics

  1. Kristin,

    This was indeed a timely article for me. Today I start my first sales executive job after spending most of my career in technical roles, and I was thinking of things (other than just exceeding quota) that will position me as a leader. The reminder of differentiation and domination will go a long way as I establish my personal brand in this role.



  2. Yes – these are the basics; yet I often try to be ‘all things to all people’ and that does not serve me well. Thought this of value to others, as well.

  3. As a young lawyer, I would sometimes seek counsel from the more experienced lawyers in my office as to how they would deal with a particular issue I was facing in one of my cases. I quickly learned that I needed to develop my own style that was consistent with my own personality and values. I’m not a “table pounder”, so a hard-charging, take no prisoners approach to litigation was not going to work for me. I earned respect from opposing counsel and judges by being very prepared and not being an a–hole.

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