- Lisa Magnusson (www.toplinesales.com),
- The team at Butler Street (www.butlerstreet.com)
- Mark Fallon at Berkshire (www.berkshire-company.com)
- And of course the King of them all, Seth Godin (www.sethgodin.com)
They have proven time and again to be provocative and compelling writers for me, and perhaps worth a look for yourself… I’ll share some more in future articles.
Our printing industry is radically changing, and is extremely competitive – I’m sure that is true for most industries today. It’s been awhile since I’ve heard business described as “a piece of cake…” Growing your business and expanding sales is a challenge every single day, and never lets up. So just how can we compete more effectively? How can we deliver real value, and prove it? How can we create better awareness for the value we provide in our goods and services?
To me, the constant message from all of the above and many other smart people that I read is keenly focused onto one word, one concept – and that is Value.
WIIFM: Let’s be honest, no prospect really cares what you do – but they care very much about whether you can truly help them. “WIIFM - What’s In It For Me?”
- Why are you different – that is value.
- Why do your clients benefit from working with you – that is value.
- Do your customers say good things about you – that is value.
- Do you help customers to save money – make money – manage risk - that is value.
VALUE REALITY: For most everyone it seems to be far easier to talk about the “what” and the “how,” rather than the infinitely more important “why.” Maybe what and how are about me, whom I know – and why is about you – who I may not know well enough yet to presume a valid “why.” So do your homework, and understand your client better! What and how won’t cut it today; clients need to know why. My good friend is a surgeon, who constantly explains the what and how of his very necessary procedure – which often scares the patient silly! Yet what makes the process work is he knows why they need his help, and he reminds patients using their own words from diagnostic interviews, why his procedure is important and why it will make their life better. Showing value works everywhere.
To be candid, I’m working on understanding better the values which Ironsides delivers to customers, so that we can further expand and improve our values. And selfishly, or wisely, we want to distill those real value statements into better messaging for our sales and marketing efforts.
SHOWING VALUE: So, it’s a journey. It’s fun. It’s remarkable to read some amazing survey comments about our team’s commitment to our clients. And it’s pause for thought to understand what we can do better. Yet overwhelmingly it is inspiring to absorb the great comments from our experienced and intelligent end users and Client Executives.
The truly great thing about understanding the value you deliver is that it reinforces just why you do what you do in the first place. When your job and mission is to grow sales and help grow your business, every day is a battle. For me, and I hope us, it helps a lot to be motivated by our value delivery, and comprehending the real values that our customers enjoy from working with Ironsides.
When someone asks what you do, do you answer with the nuts and bolts of what and how or with a simple statement which shows your value: “we help people with…”
Show me your value. WIIFM!
Bill Riley is the founder and President of Ironsides Technology. You'll hear Bill speaking at industry events across the globe.