Becoming the Dominant Player
by Kevin D. Crone
Lately, I’ve been coaching half a dozen clients who want to be the dominant player in their industry. Two of the elements we work on are their offering (the complete impact they have on customers), and a compelling, relevant story to tell the marketplace. This morning, we touch on some of the essentials in making both.
Make sure your offering matches the motives of your customers and solves their issues, and what’s missing from your competition.
In each case, I met with a small sales strategy leadership team to rethink the trends in their market, and asked:
- What’s going on?
- Who are their various customers?
- What do their customers want?
- What are their customers’ issues?
They determined what the industry is generally weak at and what their competitor’s offer is. I dragged these answers out of the teams, coached for objectivity and told them to park their biases and emotional exaggerations, as best as they can (which wasn’t easy for them to do).
After all this thinking, we then determined if their offering and brand promise was adequate or inadequate. If it wasn’t, and usually that was the case, they got busy writing a clear, contextual description of what their improved offering could be as it related to their capacity to provide it.
Now, we get busy creating a compelling story that engages customers.
We go back and look at all the pieces we discussed and use a template (we will describe next week) to create a rough draft of a story that can be authored by the team and is their newly formed point of view. Sales people and marketing can use it to engage the marketplace.
Here is what I say to my clients as we begin to describe it:
“Imagine that you walk into a large convention room filled with your customers and targeted prospects and they were told that they could walk out if you didn’t get their attention immediately. Would you be ready to reach them even though you may or may not know what they’re going through?”
Here is some extra pressure…
Building a story that engages and causes new action, takes clear thinking, since as high as 90% of targets are either not thinking about the issues the leadership team discovered, or aren’t aware they have these issues or aren’t open to hear anything from anybody. That leaves 10% who have identified the issues and are looking for help, or know about the issues but haven’t got around to looking for solutions.
So how do you get their attention and engage them in your offering? We’ll work on the template of the story next week, so that it can be told through all the channels you use.
- What is the total impact you have on customers? Describe it.
- What are your customers going through, want and need?
- Does your offering match up?
- What needs to be changed or adjusted so you can be more relevant and compelling, and prepare your team to go to battle?
Have an enthusiastic week!
Kevin D. Crone
Chairman, Dale Carnegie Business Group
firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-826-7300 / 1-800-361-2032
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