I have heard it said that it’s important be persistent and to have a great attitude. However, if you are driving around Charlotte with a street map of Raleigh, attitude and persistence will not allow you to get very far. You need an accurate map and the right city; otherwise you are guaranteed bad results.
Many businesses persist in doing the same things in the same ways that they’ve always been done. Some call it “getting back to basics.” While it may feel good to get back to the basics of your business, it is critical to recognize that there is a different mindset among buyers right now. There is more fear and more doubt. There is more focus on what is known and can easily be perceived. There is a reduction in the footprint that most businesses make as they cut back on marketing, sales and product development. “How long will this last?” is creating a unique element of doubt…in other words, the maps that we use to negotiate the cities are different today. Whether this is temporary or a permanent change remains to be seen.
Since the old map, the old ways, and the old wisdom, are not working like they used to, our clients have responded by devising new maps that are a more accurate representation of the area and hence, can be more effective in dealing with the new mindset that buyers are using.
To get better maps, our clients are increasing the type and amount of information that they get from existing customers/clients and prospects. One approach is to structure client/customer feedback to make it much more direct. Previously, you have gotten feedback from clients by asking, “What do you like best about what we do?” Instead, you may want to ask, “What could we do that would make us 50% more valuable to you and would make you be willing to increase what you pay us by 20%?” This creates a different message and elicits a different and higher level response.
One client we did this with said, “Spend a day with me.” We did, and we both learned a lot. He is paying us more and has been a client for eight years now. Another client of ours asked this same question to one of their customers. It resulted in a completely new product. This product has the capacity to generate great gross margins.
We are also seeing clients working to get into the right “cities.” For example, they entering new markets and facing opportunities that they have never tried to work on before. Some have realized that they have market potential in other countries where they have previously invested very little time and effort. The cultural differences had previously held them back, but the current economic crisis has spurred them on to take the risk and enter these new markets. The results have been better margins and bigger markets than they had ever imagined.
In summary, as leaders, we need to recognize that the old ways and the old maps are not working. We need to make sure we have the right “map” and that we are in the right “city.” Without this, what used to work may actually be what ruins your business.
The Comprehensive Independence Builder
If you are interested in learning more about “building a new map” and “finding new cities” and how it can help you avoid or escape “the shackles of persistence”, please contact us.
You may also wish to learn more about our unique process for Business Owners called The Comprehensive Independence BuilderTM, in which we address all of the obstacles you face and help you use innovative strategies to protect and enhance your business, improve your quality of life and better achieve your goals.
To schedule your Independence Exploration Session or for more information on our programs, please contact us at 800-786-4332, or firstname.lastname@example.org.