Your Competitive Advantage

Every Saturday, there is a Farmer’s Market in our town. Many booths sell fresh-picked strawberries. Even so, there is one strawberry booth that stands out. This booth’s line of customers is half a block long. People stand in this line for up to 20 minutes. Anyone will tell you that these strawberries are the best.

So here is the question. What makes these strawberries better than the others? The answer is the farmer’s competitive advantage.

Here is what I mean. It is well-known that once strawberries are picked, they will not get any sweeter. This particular farmer only picks his berries at the peak of their sweetness. He discovered that he could pick his berries at their peak and have them sold the next morning. As a bonus, the farmer would pile on extra strawberries while bagging up your purchase. These practices gave the farmer his competitive advantage, which he understood and used.

Developing your competitive advantage is a game-changer. Ask yourself what your competitive edge is. What are the unique qualities and experiences that make you stand out among the other (strawberry booths) candidates? Is it your uniqueness to take a program from start to finish? Is it your extensive experience in customer service? Is it your concept of the team? Is it your strength? Is it your burning desire to continue when others quit?

Whatever that advantage is, identify it, develop it, and use it. Start writing down your special unique qualities.  They do not have to be firefighter related. Candidates that can weave their personal life experience into their oral board answers run right by the other “Clone” candidates. Applying this concept will inspire the Oral Board to say we want to hire this person.  It can happen just that fast when you know what it is for you.