I already have what you’re selling

I call on many prospects who already might have what I’m selling( Please take a general view – I mean they might be using spread sheets while I’m selling accounting software). I always need to design ways through which there is enough incentive for them to move to my product or service.  Sometimes, I have ideas which are successful and I loose in some attempts….

Seth Godin explains and I totally agree on how we need to do this ——-

When the factors that matter to me are processed through my worldview and compared against the options I’m aware of, I will choose you when your advantages are greater than the competition, provided I believe that you’re worth the cost of switching.

Key points:

Matter to me: Not matter to you or to the next guy, but matter to me. That’s all I care about. (Example: it might mean more to me that my friends use your product than it does that you’re cheaper).

Worldview: Based on the way I see the world, the assumptions I make, the truth that I believe in. (Example: If I don’t trust young people as a matter of course, I’m not likely to choose you if you’re young, all other things being close).

Options I’m aware of: If I don’t know about you, you don’t exist.

Switching cost: The incumbent gets a huge advantage, especially in high cost/high risk/network effect instances.

Some of the ways you might build or maintain a competitive advantage:

  • Access to hard-to-replicate Talent
  • Hard-earned skills
  • Higher productivity due to insight or organization allowing you to be cheaper
  • Low cost of living for you and your staff allowing you to be cheaper
  • Protected or secret technology or trade secrets
  • Existing relationships (switching costs working in your favor)
  • Virally organized product and organization
  • Large network of users already and a network effect to support you
  • Focus on speed
  • Monopoly power and the willingness to use it
  • Unique story that resonates with the worldview of your target audience
  • Shelf space due to incumbency
  • Large media budget
  • Insight into worldview of prospects–making what they care about
  • Emotional intelligence of your salesforce or customer service people
  • Access to capital and willingness to lose money to build share
  • Connection to community

Not on this list, at least not prominently, are "we are #1!", "we are better!" and "we try harder." Cheerleading skills are not a competitive advantage in most settings. And, with few exceptions, neither is "we are new." Also, "we are better and I can prove it," is rarely a successful argument.

Here’s what your board wants to know:

  • What’s your competitive advantage?
  • Is it really, or are you dreaming it up?
  • How long will it last?
  • Can your competition copy it?
  • Does it resonate with the part of the market that is looking to buy?
  • Is the advantage big enough to overcome the switching cost?

Posted by Digvijay "VJ" Singh Rathore

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