Roy's Blog: September 2009
September 10, 2009
It is extremely important to put a sale at risk if it means deepening the relationship you have with your customer. Sales heresy I suspect to sales advocates who believe getting the sale is worth whatever it takes - the product flogger and ‘one-sale wonder’ speaking.
Relationships are all you have in Sales, and it is absolutely critical you do whatever it takes to preserve and strengthen them. The absolute worse thing you can do is to erode your customer relationship by maintaining a product sale focus.
There are times when your solution doesn’t cut it. It perhaps doesn’t have the right functionality to do what the customer specifically wants. Or, it might not be available when the customer wants it. Or it might not meet the price expectations of the customer (in which case you should be adding value to the solution!).
In any of these circumstances you need to abandon your sales quest and walk away.
Re-focus your efforts on ensuring the relationship is deepened even though you don’t have a solution that will work for the customer.
Sales Principle #1 - Own the customer forever. The long term health of an organization depends on a healthy annuity revenue stream not on a series of ‘one-sale wonders’.
Sales Principle #2 - Do whatever it takes to protect this position. Every action taken by Sales must reflect this directive and not be influenced by short term objectives.
I would love just once for a sales person to take time to work out a solution for me that involved one of their competitors because it was the right thing to do for our relationship. Trouble is they rarely do it. They sluff you off because there is no short term gain for them.
How about ‘Sorry we can’t help you at the moment, but I know XYZ Company in the mall carries exactly what you are looking for. If you would like, I will call them for you.’ Can you imagine! My positive feelings for the company would grow and would be back to them to give them more of my business not less if I were treated this way.
Finally, sales compensation needs to reflect relationship-building behavior. If it doesn’t we as consumers will continue to get stuff flogged at us in wild abandon.
Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series
- Posted 9.10.09 at 11:55 am by Roy Osing
September 7, 2009
So, you have created a great idea that you believe will capture the hearts and minds and, hopefully the pocket books of people.
You have laboured for months and maybe years making sure your product or service concept works; the technology is sound and consistently stable.
You have now arrived at the point where you need to morph your idea into a business. More specifically your challenge is to turn your innovative idea into a thriving economic engine. So how do you do it?
The BE DiFFERENT mantra: If you’re not different you’re dead (or soon will be) should be your guide.
If you can’t provide unique reasons to attract business then your startup idea will never get off the ground.
The number one consideration for anyone looking to start a business is that your idea has to be unique in some way or it can be morphed into a unique state. As I said above, you can have a great technology idea, but unless a BE DiFFERENT mindset is applied, you may never have a great business.
The starting point: develop your Strategic Game Plan based on answering three questions:
- HOW BIG do you want to be?
- WHO do you want to SERVE?
- HOW will you compete and WIN?
Declare your financial or market goals first. Second, select target customers that have the potential to deliver to your financial expectations. Third, create a differentiated market approach that will beat your competitors. Your Strategic Game Plan can be created in 3 days; you can start executing it on the fourth!
The essential component of the HOW to WIN part of the strategy is the need to create the ONLY statement for your business; this is the essence of your strategy to beat your competitors in the trenches. The challenge is simple to explain but challenging to complete:
‘We are the only ones that…..’
This is the ultimate manifestation of a real differentiation strategy and you should look in every nook and cranny in your business for this edge.
Figure it out with your team and then test it with prospective customers. Make sure it is real, compelling and believable and that you are not mesmerized by your own thoughts of grandeur.
Your Strategic Game Plan must be set in place first; all action plans, tactics and activities are driven from it.
The bottom line for you entrepreneurs out there is that if you cannot define your business in relevant terms to your target customers (i.e. you will deliver something that is a high priority to them) and if you cannot explain in clear concise terms how your offering is DiFFERENT from the other alternatives available then STOP. Continue to work on your idea until you meet the BE DiFFERENT criteria. You will reap the rewards later.
If you want a guide to your efforts, work with my BE DiFFERENT quiz.
Use the practises in the quiz to build your business in a different way.
- Posted 9.7.09 at 12:41 pm by Roy Osing