An article on business travel in a recent issue of USA Today focused on how Independent Bookstores Find Readers on the Fly.

The essence of the article was, “How can smaller bookstores compete with retail giants who can buy and sell books for less?”

The answer? By zigging where the competition zags.

For example, business traveler Brian Norton was searching for a good book to read on the plane and was frustrated to find the airport bookstores featured only the top five leaders in each category of the New York Times Bestseller list.”

What to do? Walter High, smart-thinking owner of the 2nd ed. Booksellers at Raleigh-Durham International, says, “I make a point of stocking books the new-book sellers don’t. I recently bought a huge collection of Civil War books that includes first editions from the 1920’s. You’re not going to see that down the hall at Borders.”

Are you offering the same selection of products/services as your competitors? That’s a perscription for blending in, not breaking out.

Ask youself, “What are our potential customers looking for they can’t find elsewhere?” Offer that and people will flock to your store or business.

As I say in my presentations, CD’s and book on POP! (endorsed by Seth Godin, Jeffrey Gitomer, John Jantsch, and Ken Blanchard), <strong>”The best way to stand out from the crowd is to lead it, not follow it.”