These five points are aimed at people/businesses (e.g. consultants, service providers and representatives) who serve the commercial/B2B market specifically. Whilst there are exceptions to every rule, that really only serves to prove the rule.
- Your product/service must solve an actual problem of some scale. Not your passion, not what you like and not what you think is a good idea – solve people’s problems. If you first have to convince the customer that they have a problem of a certain kind that only you can solve, you are in for long, hard struggle. If they don’t think they have that particular problem, then you won’t often succeed
- You must be able to demonstrate clear, tangible benefits that can be translated into dollars. You can talk about quality, experience and the like, but what people really buy must make or save them money. And they don’t like taking risks – it must be obvious – because they are taking risks with their career if they make a mistake. (unlike a consumer who can throw
- Your product must have a point of difference. Not a gimmick. Not the brand. Not the promise. It must actually be different in a way that this difference is a compelling reason to choose your product over another.
- You must be specialised and focused. Don’t be www.doanythingformoney.com – but have the courage to narrow your offer down to the point where you/it is unique. Being geographically unique is of limited benefit to a small range of products – in most cases the global market is open to you, so the smallest niche becomes viable (long tail).
- You must have a product. Even if you sell a service, the physical manifestation of that service is a critical element of what the customer buys. People are funny that way. Banks must give a credit card (plastic) as the physical manifestation of their financial service for instance. Do the same with your advice, membership, service etc.
I am pretty sure that none of the above would be your first reading of it. I certainly did not make it up and I have heard and read that same advice numerous times. What I am doing, is endorsing it with my 30 years’ experience AND highlighting to you that if you don’t follow it and just glance over the real intent and content of those strategic principles, then you are trying to reinvent a square wheel that does not exist and will not work, no matter how interesting or different you think it may be.