Buying Experience is a Differentiator When Products and Services are Similar


 Enterprise Rent-A-Car

How do you win the customer’s business when you have a number of competitors with products that solve the same problem as yours? A number of businesses quickly jump to lower prices, however we learned in my post: WARNING: Buyer’s say what salespeople do wrong? PRICE is not on the list!.. That price is not even on the buyers list of why they do not buy from you. So how can you differentiate your product or service in a sea of other possible competitors who can solve the same problem for your customers?

Make the buying experience your differentiator and you will win business.


When is the last time you rented a car? I travel quite a bit and I often rent cars when I arrive. This experience is typically a cold and “a matter of fact” experience. You get on the bus, drive to some parking lot, go into a building, wait in line, then the person behind the counter tries to ;

  • upgrade your car
  • rent you a navigation device
  • sell you insurance
  • sell you a gas option


It’s kind of frustrating as I am tired, I just flew 4 hours, it’s often late at night, ( always seems to be raining) and all I want is my “Fricken” car! Instead I have to run the sales gauntlet and it honestly the experience irritates me.

Enterprise Rental Car surprised me this week in Denver. I arrived and jumped on the bus and I was greeted by Tony who helped me with my bags and said…”Hi, thank you for choosing Enterprise and I will be your driver today.” This was a nice surprise versus trying to jump on the bus before the doors close. As we pulled away from the airport Tony went on to say “ we will have a short 8 minute drive to your car” hummm, it’s like he was reading my mind…I was just wondering ; how long will it take to get to the car, do I have enough time? We hear him on his radio informing the rest of his team he has 3 guests and he was 1 minute out. Again, interesting…maybe they will actually have enough people on staff so I do not have to wait in a long line as Dollar and Thrifty have made me do in other cities recently ?

When we arrive there are about six people waiting with clipboards. I meet Jody; “ Hi I am Jody and I will be helping you with your car and get you on your way, come on inside and we will do your paperwork…oh would you like some coffee or water?”  Again, another interruption from the norm…this is pretty cool. So I hand her my driver’s license and credit card and wait to be pitched….nothing. She says “OK Mark please sign this form and I will meet you outside and show you your car.”  A bit nervous as this is not what typically happens I stop her….”wait a minute, what about the gas options, insurance, and so on?” She smiles and said “we will discuss that outside let’s get you on your way” (so she gets it I want to move through this quickly? No way!)

She walks me outside and shows me cars and said these are your choices if you want those other cars over there it would be an upgrade, but that is up to you. I decline, but that was a much nicer way of presenting upgrades. She gets in my car, starts it, then walks around and inspects it for me. Every other rental company makes me do this on my own, if I remember… She shares the insurance options, I decline, she explains what will happen if I have a accident, but in an informative way, I was not feeling like I was being sold.

Jody then asks if she can help me with directions, restaurants, radio stations… (You kidding me? Am I on candid camera or something? ) I said no thanks, and before I jumped in I had to ask;

So Jody, what’s the deal? I mean I rent cars all over the US every week and no one has treated me this good…do you have a guy from corporate here today…are you guys going through training today?…. She said no, this is how we choose to do business here. We are one of the most profitable Enterprise locations and our supervisor trained us to treat people like they were only customer. She went on to say they are buying two competitors who will soon be under the Enterprise umbrella as well.

Jody shook my hand, and then gave me the office phone number and an emergency number…and away I went.

This overall experience was quicker than what I have experienced with Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, Alamo, and significantly better. I promise you I will use Enterprise in Denver again, and try Enterprise on my travels next week in other cities… I hope this is a chain wide program.

When your competitors have products and services that solve your buyers’ problems, you can use the “buying experience” to differentiate your business and win future business.

How about you? Have you experienced amazing service that has made you want to use that business again?




Have you experienced service that made you never want to use that business again?



Hey Dollar, Alamo, Hertz, Thrifty executives…get out from behind your desks and rent a car from Enterprise in Denver and see what kind of experience your buyers really want!


( how many of your recent customers remember the names of the rental bus driver and the person who checked them in?)

How about your customers?…what kind of experience are they receiving?


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