With our Thanksgiving feasts behind us, ’tis the season of 2020 business planning. Ironically, the theme of gratitude may actually be our best strategy in the new year.
In working with many businesses in different industries, I often hear the same refrains: “we need to sell more;” “we need better marketing;” “we need to cut costs.”
The one theme I hear far less frequently is around being grateful for, and truly delighting customers. In other words, leaders often put their focus on internal factors (sales, marketing, operations) rather than a relentless drive to better serve clients through higher value products and services.
If you have an average, mediocre product or services offering, it likely requires a rock star sales team and a Super Bowl marketing budget to hit your revenue targets. On the other hand, if you craft an irresistible offering, superhero sales efforts are not required. Simply put, applying our energies in a customer-centric manner may be the most productive investment we can make.
With limited resources (time, money, equipment, creative energy, talent), shifting attention away from peddling ho-hum wares to a highly differentiated and desirable value proposition could become the game-changer you’re looking for. We can’t forget that we’re all in the service business, so the best way to grow is to appreciate – and focus on – our customers.
With that in mind, here are 10 client-centric questions to help create irresistible value:
- What is the biggest pain point we’re solving for the customer?
- What unmet needs currently exist from our customers’ current suppliers?
- If the client could waive their magic wand and design a solution, what might that look like? And how close can our offering get to that ideal vision?
- What would make our offering so compelling, the client would ignore the lowest cost bidder?
- What is one sentence that our client would use to describe our core value proposition?
- What is our single most important point of differentiation vs. our top competitors?
- How could our service get our main client promoted? Fired?
- If it were five years from now and a competitor came in and totally crushed us, what might they be offering compared to our current value proposition?
- What would we need to change about our product/service, price, story, that would triple our closing rates?
- Putting the actual product/service mix aside for a second, let’s examine the experience of buying, planning, and ultimately consuming our work. What three changes could we make to plus-up the experiences we deliver?
Shifting your focus from internal to customer-centric and directing your creative efforts to delivering irresistible value to clients will deliver you a Thanksgiving-sized portion of growth, customer loyalty, and sustainable success. This approach – of gratitude and service – will allow us to feast for years to come.