Having been awarded the DHL business, we found the phone book offered a million international and domestic courier companies – or, so it seemed.

Worse, closer examination showed us that we all offered a parity product!

Domestically, all couriers used the same airlines. All departed and arrived in all major SA cities at the same time. This meant that a superiority claim to the all-important ‘fastest’ delivery was out.

Pick-ups? They all did, 24/7!

That meant across the nation’s receptionist’s desks, companies’ documents would be handed to a courier who would wish the receptionist the identical insincere “Good morning” followed by, “Press hard, the second copy is yours!”

That was it – the full customer contact!

Oh, and price for service? They all discounted about the same, to lure bigger clients.

Repeat after me: There exists a Million Buck Steal-A-Market differential in every product.

It was my third day of visiting DHL’s offices in SA when I found myself in the cramped reception area of their Cape Town office.

I had interviewed a variety of senior managers across the country pursuing DHL’s Million-Buck Steal-A-Market Differential.
Every interview had netted nothing. A fact I mulled over whilst sipping freshly poured tea and waiting for my interview with the Cape Town manager.

I’d tried everything!

No, their fleet of trucks wasn’t newer than the competitors (angle: we’re faster or since they won’t breakdown so much – DHL was more reliable). Drivers weren’t particularly long in service with the company (Angle: more familiar with short cuts – therefore faster delivery times). No, the fact that DHL was the largest international courier company servicing SA. As our assignment was the local market, DHL’s strong international links was a disadvantage, locally.

That’s when I became aware of the receptionist. She was behind the reception desk whilst answering incoming calls with such regularity she sounded as invisible as music.

In The Book

They stole their market. Shouldn’t YOU?