Who Are You Competing Against?

In this dynamic market, the most agile, growing businesses compete more against themselves than against any competitor. Competing companies, offering comparable solutions, struggle to differentiate themselves over time, resulting in declining prices and margins which impede sustainable growth. Your customers care only about the value you produce for them, and however you accomplished this last time, they will expect more next time. Producing more value than last time, without just reacting to what your competition is …

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Price or Value

Offering your product or service as the lowest priced alternative is a simple, efficient strategy. Price is obvious to all buyers. It’s clear, direct and easy to evaluate. It’s often the same for everyone. Offering the lowest price is seductive. But doing so makes your offering a commodity – discounting your expertise, diminishing your brand, and setting you up for a one-way journey down in revenue and profit. A purchase becomes just another transaction, producing no enduring value for the …

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Moment of Truth

In every customer relationship, there is the moment of truth – the moment when something goes wrong.  It’s in that moment, when your promise has been broken, that your customer experiences the real nature of your business. What your company truly values is exposed.  When a business is young, every customer relationship is precious. Promises made to customers reflect a personal commitment and depth of caring that adds value to an offering and cultivates a customer’s trust.  As …

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Price vs. Value

Bob Schultek Author of  The Gauntlet Price is obvious to all buyers. It’s clear, direct and easy to evaluate. In a retail environment, it’s the same for everyone. Value is different for every buyer. It is derived from the benefits or experience generated by the product or service purchased. Selling on the basis of price is easier than selling the value your product or service produces. But doing so makes you a commodity – discounting your expertise, diminishing your …

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Helping the Market Determine Value

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet When you introduce a new offering, the market ultimately determines its value. How you position the new product or service when it’s launched influences that decision, providing the opportunity to maximize your profitability and ROI, and avoid the label of commodity. There are really two positioning options. Your introduction of the new offering can explain why it’s the best option available at the moment. Its value is based on being …

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Sustainability & Value Creation

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet The fundamental premise for business acquisitions is that the merged organizations will be more valuable together than they would be if they continued as separate entities; an acquisition is expected to create value. Yet, a multitude of research studies cite a high failure rate for mergers. One KPMG study indicates that 83% of acquisitions fail to boost value, and another by A.T. Kearney concludes that total return on many M&A deals is often negative. These studies consistently …

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3 Attributes That Increase Your Value to Customers

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet In a commoditized market, why do customers choose to build enduring relationships with some suppliers? It’s all about the strategic value you produce for them. Customers cite 3 attributes that increase your value: 1.   Reliability Customers expect you to keep your promises—it’s the price of admission into the relationship. If your team makes it easy to do business, perhaps delivering exceptional service as well, then your value is increased. What …

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Discovery Questions That Provoke Awareness

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet When we need help to resolve a problem, none of us wants to be sold; but we do appreciate the opportunity to explore what we value and why, without the high pressure tactics.A customer may have a good handle on his or her specific challenge or goal to be achieved, but often there is less clarity about why achievement is important. Resolving the problem may address a visible, troubling short term pain point, but could the …

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The First Step When It’s Time to Plan

When growth stalls or is rapidly accelerating, or when you’re seeking investment, or when you’re thinking about who will succeed you, these are the triggers that compel you to plan for the future. When the time to plan arrives, what’s the best first step? Throughout your organization, heads are down and focused on the near term, ever reacting to marketplace changes. Over time, what began as an opportunistic, hopefully profitable venture, becomes preoccupied – first …

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What Does Your Customer Value?

The probability that you will earn a customer’s business increases significantly when you’ve discovered why their stated need is important to them. Does your proposal resolve a problem that helps the customer grow sales or reduce cost? These two alternative goals are really the fundamental choices faced by every business. Whether you provide a product or a service, its value to your customer depends on their goals, and their strategies to achieve them. So what …

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