Having a hard time growing your company? Everyone telling you new products or services costing a lot of money with no guarantee is the right move? Sometimes the answer is right in front of you.
Let’s use T-Mobile as an example.
I love their approach to getting new clients. Get creative and give them what they want! You want a new cell phone? How about 2 new phones? You have an existing contract? No worries, we can help with that. You want Netflix with that? Okay.
The reality is that T-Mobile’s quality of service is less than that of some other carriers (I can say that because I have used T-Mobile and Verizon). While they are trying to improve in that area, they need to scale rapidly if they want to keep up with Verizon and AT&T.
You want to know what one of their real competitive advantages is? Their back-end systems and the ability to provide their sales team with unlimited options. T-Mobile disrupts the industry by giving clients what they want without internal limitations. They keep the other carriers scrambling to match their offers.
I’ve worked for billing systems in the past. I know how complex it is to provide customized programs while ensuring everything balances on the back end.
The fact is T-Mobile is leveraging their ability to partner and bundle services in a seamless way to downplay their less than optimal cell service. It is working.
Here’s another example.
I worked for a software company years ago that had a large and loyal client base. The problem is that the technology was getting older and the cost to refresh took a lot of time and money. While working on the technology, we had to find a way to increase sales.
What we noticed was that our people had the most experience in the industry. Those that were hands on with the clients came from client companies. They knew the challenges the buyers were facing and how to resolve it using our software. We would downplay the technology gaps during the sales process and promote our professional services experience. Our theme was “Do you want the latest technology or a solution that works? We know how to make our product work for you because we’ve been there”. Clients really loved the fact that the implementations were being managed by people with more industry experience than they had.
What does this all mean? You don’t have to have the latest and greatest products, technology, or solutions for customers to buy your products.
3 Steps to Transforming your sales approach and growing the company
Identify what you are good at today and leverage it
What do you do in the normal course of the day that works and clients like? It could be Customer Service, always on-time or even early, strong partner network, free replacement policy (even though you have a very low fault rate).
You may need a second set of eyes because you are too close.
Make sure and package it in such a way that your Sales team can sell it as a market differentiator.
Ask your customers – give them what they want
What do your existing clients like about your product or service? What is the market asking for? Their answer may surprise you. It could be rapid turnaround on a problem resolution. It could be the ease of use of the product. Perhaps you are easy to do business with compared to the larger companies. You could offer a service paid on a monthly basis with no annual contract (since the rate of cancellations is quite low anyway).
Don’t be afraid to take advantage of opportunities
Here’s a great story - In the early days of eCommerce, a toy retailer was going to crush the market with their new eCommerce website, ordering, and fulfillment system (pre-Amazon). As holidays approached, word got out that their systems were not going to be fully ready. A much smaller company took a manual approach. Put up a website of products to purchase. Once orders were made, they would print out the order information and have someone manually get the product for shipping, input it into the billing system, and send a confirmation email. It worked, was scalable, and clients could not tell that it was manual behind the scenes. They crushed the holidays and built a name for themselves. It gave them time to build the systems right.
Final note – always be observant to opportunities to disrupt. You are successful today for a reason. Leverage what may be right in front of you to crush the competition.