And let's start right off with that does NOT mean we can BUY our way into a winning position. The lowest price equates to LOWEST value in most cases. I sadly see it every day. Our products and services are all world-class. Our deliveries are competitive. Our prices are in line with what the world sees as reasonable. We can leave it that and see how we do… Or NOT. As many times as I have said it, and it has in theory been “heard” it is worth repeating, and it is critical to absolutely understand, that it is our Value Added efforts at a client that are the difference-maker. It is what we DO that makes the only difference that truly matters. Now…value-added must be in the eyes of the client. How do you know what matters to them? Simple…ask them…. It goes like this… “Hey Karen (client), several of my long-term clients tell me that what they value the most from a supplier partner is their ability to bring me insight into my industry that I did not have. We find that there are significant similarities in the thousands of clients that we serve. Would it be of value to you if I offer up a few of the trends that we are seeing today in clients similar to you?" You can’t wing this one, you actually need to do the planning work and conversation simulation needed to actually bring value to the table.
Insight comes in many forms and for it to be of value to the client we need to understand their very specific challenge so that we can tailor our efforts towards helping them make better decisions, quicker. One barrier to the decision-making process is the client’s own ability to facilitate change in their own world. That can be a huge barrier that you CAN help them navigate. It requires a clear consensus creation within their organization and ALL of the people involved in the thinking around the issue. You CAN become a change agent to help them tackle that problem. It too starts with asking the client, “who all do you believe will be needed to make this happen?”. There is a LOT of science around change-facilitation. I choose to take it back to basics about caring about the people that we serve. As long as our motives are pure….helping them, then our actions do not have to be deeply steeped in psychology. Keep it simple and remember that we are aiming to help PEOPLE, not companies, INDIVIDUALS, not corporations. Start out of the blocks with caring!
SERVE endlessly, with
Dig deeply into each one of those 4 steps and create the PLAN/DO/REVIEW steps to bring the conversations to the surface. Simulate the conversations with your team. Tweak it all, and take it to the street with LOVE as the intent.
OK, LET’S ROLL!