Small Business Owners are often reluctant to put a stake in the ground in order to claim their Market Dominating Position. But when they do, their ideal clients start finding them.
Here are Six Steps to finding that strategic position:
- Ask yourself, “will this position deliver a competitive advantage in the marketplace”? Think about how 24 Hour fitness created a competitive advantage when they decided to be open 24 hours a day. They innovated around time and convenience.
- They also built the strategic position into their name (24-hour fitness). They named out loud and everywhere they communicated their competitive advantage.
- Identify the result you want to deliver for your client. Think about how Domino’s Pizza created the result of fresh hot pizza in 30 minutes or less. On the other hand, California Pizza Kitchen delivers gourmet pizza. In the pizza game both pursuing different markets, both creating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
- Now define the process you and your company need to follow to consistently deliver that result over and over again. (Policies, procedures, SOP’s – it is the only way you can grow.)
- How will you control your quality? Document and implement that.
- How will you measure success throughout the process (Key Performance Indicators)
If you want to be able to take a vacation. If you want to be able to have a business you can sell, if you want to grow your business you must create your market dominating position and then document your process to own that position.
Do you want to learn more about how you can create your strategic position check out the resources ar https://ras-squared.com
Last year LinkedIn recently released a report on the top ten job skills employers wanted in new hires. Communication was number One! I could have told you that. Unless you are a hermit or you are truly working alone, your ability to communicate is crucial to your success. Everything you do involves communicating to other people.
- Email ping pong because people are not clear in their emails
- Policies that are not clear
- Quality errors
I am curious. We all communicate, and we have all been communicating since before we were born. Why are so many people so bad at it.
I suspect the following four things:
- Lack of Emotional Awareness
It is interesting to me how many people are not aware of the impact their communication is having on others. They leave an emotional wake behind them as they move through the day, spewing whatever they think of. Or the impact of demanding a result without building the context for their team; The Why?
- Self – Centeredness
This was a lesson I had to learn early in my career. It cost me a promotion and a raise. The principles in Dale Carnegies book saved my career. I learned how to connect with people, how to understand their needs and how to create alignment.
There is an agenda to every communication. The challenge we all face is that because we see the world through our own eyes, we assume everybody else sees the same thing we do. They don’t. When we slow down and as Stephen Covey said, “Seek First to Understand before you seek to be understood,” we get remarkable responses to our communication.
- Not understanding the Chemistry of Communication
The way we communicate has an electro chemical reaction in your body which then produces a response, positive or negative. Just seeing the word “NO” on a screen will release cortisol, adrenaline, and other chemicals in our body. And as those chemicals reach our nervous system it shuts down and goes into Fight Flight or Freeze. It limits our capacity to think clearly. It reduces our willingness to collaborate.
I don’t think any leader wants their team or customer in this state.
The opposite is also true. When we communicate with the behaviors and language of trust, the body responds with Serotonin, Dopamine and Oxytocin. These chemicals hit the system and open us up to collaboration, creativity, and trust. And it is not hard to do.
Behaviors like a smile and eye contact work remarkably well. Words like, “I trust your judgement, I believe in you,” can do wonders.
- Not having a clear outcome in mind
Lack of clarity is a major stumbling block in communication, especially the important communication. Again, it goes back to our self-centeredness. Often we will have an outcome in mind. And, because the brain is lazy, we will shortcut the communication. A simple example from my workshops is as follows:
John: My wife and I are considering a dog. What would you recommend?
Audience: A Dachshund, Schnauzer, Poodle, Border Collie, A Golden.
John: I forgot to say I am allergic to most dog’s and my wife wants one under 20 lbs.
Audience: A Havanese, a Poodle, A Maltese
As I clarified my desires, I got better results. Think about the projects you assign to your team. Are you clear about the outcome you are looking for?
Whenever I wonder where my lead flow has gone, I can look to procrastination. It can be the weight gain, it can be overwhelm, it can be disgruntled staff or customers. If you step back in the majority of cases, it’s because you have procrastinated.
- You put off going to the gym because it was cold.
- You put off the uncomfortable conversation about an employee’s performance.
- Your pipeline has dried up because you put off calling potential clients.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Here are three ideas to help you overcome procrastination.
First, is there something you can start on the project that will take 1 – 2 minutes? For example, getting geared up for the gym. Once you put on your sneakers, you are in motion and chances are you will head to the gym.
With an employee who is having performance issues, schedule the 1:1 conversation. Once it is in the calendar, you are 70% more likely to get it done. And because it is scheduled, you can prepare. Keeping an employee on track is way easier that replacing an employee.
Review your annual goals daily, you know, the big rocks. By reviewing your goals and then asking the honest question, “Am I on track in pursuit of these goals”? you will help yourself prioritize your day. For all of my friends that love networking and meeting people, ask yourself, are those coffee meetings turning into business? If not, are those the conversations that you need to be having? Or is all of that networking a way to put off the difficult work of building a funnel or calling ten prospective clients?
Make sure to celebrate your wins. All to often we are in pursuit of a goal, we get it and we scurry on to the next one. Take a moment to celebrate. Observe yourself winning and what that feels like. Reinforce the reason you want to go into action… so you can have more wins.
Bonus idea number 4, find a way to embrace the process. Sometimes we get so focused on the win (income amount, number of clients, the beach body, etc.) that we forget that to get there we have to do some things. We have to hit the gym, we have to pick up the phone, we have to do the research on the new client potential in order to get the beach body, the new client, or open a new market.
It is ironic how many business owners decide that what they need is “marketing”. So, they go and hire a marketing team (outsourced or internal). Then after spending thousands of dollars, they wonder what went wrong. I mean they are running ads, they’ve jumped on the Insta and Tik Tok bandwagon…where are the new clients?
The Owner never took the time to be strategic, to really understand their place in the market. They did not determine how to actually own that space in their client’s mind. It starts with Your Market Dominating Position. This is a strategic position where the value you deliver aligns with what your clients want in a unique way that helps them trust you and your recommendations rapidly.
- It is not that you are a wealth advisor (no one cares).
- It is not that you are a business attorney (no one cares).
- It is not that you are a painter, plumber, or candlestick maker.
Your client has a problem, and they want a solution. The Problem they want to solve is not that they need a wealth advisor. They’ve already decided to look at that. Their problem is how do they find one that will speak to them and not down to them? How do they know that the advisor is working for them and not the commissions? Heck, how do they know the advisor isn’t another Bernie Madoff? How do you solve THAT problem?
If you are a plumber, they know they need a plumber. But have you seen the stuff plumbers walk in every day? Do you want that in your house? There are some plumbers that demonstrate concern for the home by putting booties on to protect the homeowners floors when they enter, alleviating that concern. Or we’ve all heard stories about plumbers (and other trades) that upsell inappropriately or that make things worse. How do you solve THAT problem?
That is why you start with your Market Dominating Position. It separates you from all the rest. It is not a platitude like Quality, Expertise, or we are Bonded. It connects with the emotional hot buttons of your clients.
And your outside marketing expert will never get that, unless you as the owner gets it. You have to know your client’s problem better than your clients do. When you can articulate it better than they can, they know that you know the solution.
Take the time, invest the energy to get really clear on your Market Dominating Position, and then see what happens when you promote your business. If you would like some help with your Market Dominating Position (MDP), consider joining the class starting in January 2022. You can embrace your (MDP) and generate new clients, new revenue, and new profits, WITHOUT spending more money on marketing and advertising.
I have read the book several times and I am here to call BS on the whole notion. (Belief System).
This is an entertaining talk. It’s just entertaining. It is important for you to know why you do what you do but you clients, don’t give a hoot. They care about what you are going to do for them.
Consider the contractor that goes into the hardware store looking for a drill bit. And the sales rep starts talking about “Why” he chose this hardware store to work at. Then “why” this store was founded. And then why” this drill bit is the best!!!
The contractor doesn’t care, he wants the hole that the drill bit makes.
Now some hardware stores may differentiate on price (this will attract customers that want a lower price).
Another may choose to differentiate on education for the DIY market (This will bring in the DIY crowd).
Or a third may choose to differentiate by giving back. (This will attract customers for whom that is important).
The only reason your “why” matters to anyone besides you is in how it impacts them and their goals. When thinking about your businesses existential “why”, make sure your client cares.
And, to do that you have to understand who your ideal client is. Then determine their goals, aspirations and wants. If you why lines up, share it. If not, ask how you are going to connect with your clients.
If you would like help connecting with your ideal clients check out the resources at https://ras-squared.com.