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If You Aren’t Building Value, Someone Else Is!

By: Dave Brock

 

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Well, actually, even if you are building value, someone else still is. We win by creating superior, differentiated value—relevant to the customer. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any period of time, you know that in order to win, we must go far beyond our value propositions. We must build and create value in every interaction with prospects and customers.

This starts from the very first time they may become aware of us—whether through searching and finding our websites, word of mouth from another customer, social engagement on any of the social platforms, meeting at a conference, a brief phone call or meeting. We must continue through the entire life cycle of engaging with them as a prospect, customer, even former customer.

The moment we lose focus, or have a lapse, we are exposed. We may not be severely exposed, unless we stop creating value. If there is no value in their interactions with us, we are actually creating cost—to the customer. We are putting our relationship at risk.

Customers have many alternatives. If we can’t create the mot compelling value for the customer, they’ll find it somewhere else.

Sometimes we forget about that. We take a good current customer for granted, we fail to deliver on the customer experience we committed, the customer expectations have changed and we haven’t adjusted to meet those expectations.

When we compete for a deal, we often focus on the wrong things—not the value we create, but how we compare with the competitors or the alternatives the customer is considering. We tend to focus on our strengths and weaknesses against the competitive alternatives, constantly trying to convince the customer of the superiority of our solutions.

We forget our solution is just table stakes—it’s not about the product or solution, but it’s really the value we create through the buying experience.

Our greatest exposure through the customer buying cycle is not whether our competitors have more features and functions than we do, or that their price is cheaper than ours. Our greatest exposure is their sales people may be creating more, and more relevant value than we are.

Customers are starved and struggling. They want to learn, they want to improve. They don’t know what they don’t know. So the organization that engages them in these issues creates the greatest value. The organization that provides the customer leadership, that collaborates to help them grow and improve becomes most trusted and important to the customer.

Make sure you are the one leading the customer, building the greatest value if you want to win, both over the short and long term.

Customers don’t buy products (even though that’s what’s on the PO). They buy value. They buy the greatest value that’s created for the investment they are making. They are buying both what they’ve experienced in value creation and what they expect over the relationship.

This article was originally published by Partners in Excellence

Published: October 2, 2014
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Dave Brock

Dave Brock is the founder of Partners in EXCELLENCE, a consulting and services company helping to improve the effectiveness of business professionals with strategy development, organizational planning, and implementation. Dave has spent his career working for and with high performance organizations, ranging from the Fortune 25 to startups, including companies such as IBM, HP, Nokia, AT&T, Microsoft, General Electric, and many, many more. The work Dave does with business strategies is closely tied to personal effectiveness of the people in the organization. As a result, Dave is deeply involved in the development of a number of training and coaching programs.

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