In the film Ready Player One, the villain Nolan Sorrento is making his pitch to his board about revenue streams, while he firm is losing revenue and shareholder confidence. The IOI CEO is pitching “Pure O2” which is an advertising revenue stream that will fill up 80% of the screen with pop up ads and media content, and has carefully measured the amount of screen space that can be filed up before a user has a seizure, all in the name of maximizing the space to bombard the user with information.
In this digital age, everyone is always connected, all the time and we tend to suffer from information overload. We are inundated with tweets, posts, emails,notifications, scrolling marquis and on and on. So often this ends up just becoming noise and useless information that is either ignored or worse yet, creates an annoyance. All too often companies have all these capabilities and services that they believe the customer MUST be made aware of, and they have 5 or 10 slides to cover each. Harvard Business School professor has argued that if an organization isn’t careful their core competencies often harden into “core rigidities.” Features that achieved the objectives previously but might eventually become obstacles. The mindset is that If we throw enough against the wall, something is bound to stick. We forget that our customers are busy people, and they have other responsibilities and tasks that they need to complete. The challenge for every organization and Business Development team is creating customized and focused messaging that is customer or market specific.
A Strength Can be an Area of Differentiation
The Miller Heiman Group offers organizations Sales Training for complex sales, and part of that training is both Strategic and Conceptual Selling. Part of the process is how to identify and leverage strengths. A strength is an area of differentiation, and it enables your client or prospect to identify a key difference between the solution you are offering as compared to all alternate options. But here is the catch; it is the client who must see why your “difference” makes a difference to them. We make think what we offer is the greatest solution and service in the modern era, but if the client doesn’t view what your presenting as something that impacts their bottom line, improves their situation or makes their life easier then it will be worthless in their eyes. If the “strength” increases your chances for success then it has merit, if not then more than likely you cannot define it as such.
Every organization and every department need to remember two simple words; So, what? What we may view as our strengths or competitive advantage is likely what our competitors think is there’s as well. In a recent article published by the Harvard Business Review the idea of a healthy self assessment was deemed critical to organization health and success. Some key questions to ask yourself:
· Does this strength differentiate my solution or my company?
· Does this strength improve my position in the customer's eyes?
· Is this strength relevant to the specific project, opportunity or program?
· Does this strength diminish the importance of price competition?
Putting this to Work
How does this play out in real life? I am glad you asked. A typical scenario in manufacturing plays out like this; when your Engineering team presents to the customer that “we do DFM” they need to keep in mind “So What?" Every industrial design firm, contract manufacturer, plastic injection molder or sheet metal fabricator says the exact same thing. How do you do it better? How do you do it faster? How do you do it more efficiently? What tools are you using that improves the process or drives out cost? What skill-sets does your team possess that differentiates you from the rest of the pack? How did you solve a problem or address a pain point, and how is that relevant? Defining these things is part of defining your Unique Value Proposition (UPV) and defining whether your service or offering is truly a strength. This activity can also help you identify Red Flags so you can shore up these capabilities and services offerings to improve your competitive advantage.
ATG understands that there are key differentiation's and pockets of organizational excellence that your company provides which encompass your Unique Value Proposition. And ATG can help you analyze how these are being framed and presented to capture the attention and imagination of your customers. Let us engage with you to develop tools so your “so what” turns into“that’s what we need”!