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Avoid “Target Fixation” and steer where you want to go 4 May, 2020

Posted by varoom in Uncategorized.
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In advanced driving (cars) if you get into a skid you must firstly remove the cause and then steer where you want to go. One of the common problems car drivers have in a crisis situation they stare at the object they want to avoid and often crash right into it. This is called Target Fixation.

In this time of business crisis there is a similar risk. Of course, we must do all we can to mitigate the cause of the crisis, removing as many factors as we can and survive but we must also steer where we want to go. If we only concentrate on the cash crisis, we are in danger of target fixation and unwittingly steer into the crash.

Apart from doing everything we can to survive we also need to ask ourselves are we doing the right things for the future beyond the crisis? If you have a long cycle time business you could also be losing next year’s customers as well. We need to be memorable for doing the right things in a crisis and helping customers with their challenges.

Firstly, you need to look after your existing key customers, have you assessed those who will survive the crisis and helped them in some way. Have you reached out to them? Have you spoken to them in detail? Do you know what they need? Have they shut down and gone quiet or are they still active? Will they remember your actions afterwards? Will they be next year’s customers?

Secondly what can you do for people who are not your customers right now? Is this the time to reach out to them? Yes, they may be working from home but they may also have more time to consider new propositions and looking themselves to the future. Have they been let down by their current suppliers?

Is this time for a new proposition to your existing market, maybe a free version in order to support your customers through these tight times or even an offer of something new to new customers? Is this time to promote rather than stay quiet? Can you offer a limited feature version or limited time version to those new potential customers?

Maybe a change in your business strategy is called for. Have you reviewed your approach to the market, maybe the future, post crisis, will be different? Have to tried to project ahead into the future and speculated if any major changes in your marketplaces will occur. Will this create new opportunities for you? Can you be ready for those changes? Should you be making some decisions now that enable you to seize the potential opportunities?

There are many companies who have made strategic in strategy, business models and approach to markets, have a look at them for ideas. They need not be operating in your market but they have had a similar thought process and used some of the same tools available to you. Although there are pretty much the same tools in everyone’s toolbox in business it often matters how and when you use those tools that matters to the success of the business.

There maybe some useful data points amongst your peer groups, companies in a similar position as you. Don’t be afraid to reach out and communicate. They will probably be in a similar position. May even be a potential partner.

You need to decide where you need to go and have a clear strategy that helps the business beyond the current crisis, it will pass, and rebuild the business for the next year. However you must still keep an eye on the cause of the crisis and survive in order for there to be a future for your company.


7 key questions – to make an impact 25 November, 2016

Posted by varoom in Selling.
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Whenever you want to communicate to someone, in business, time is short because in modern life most people’s attention spans are short. In my last Blog I talked about time to Ah Ha! Well that is only part, an important part, of the whole process. I believe there are 7 questions you should ask yourself when creating a communication to ensure you get beyond the Ah Ha stage.

  1. WHO – Do you want to speak to (Do know your audience)?
  2. WHAT – Will grab their attention (WOW factor)?
  3. WHAT – Do you want to say (Your most important Key Messages*)?
  4. TIME to Ah Ha! – Are you making it as simple as it can be?
  5. HOW – Often do you need to repeat the message to be effective?
  6. WHAT – Do you want them to do afterwards (Call to Action)?
  7. HOW – Will you deliver your message(s) (Which is the best channel)?

*Key messaging is one of my passions. A key message is what you want to be retained in the mind of the recipient after you have left or your communication is over. A key message is carefully worded, told within a story flow that is in the right sequence, easily communicated, easily understood and memorable.

The rewards of having a story flow are;

  • You bring the listener along with your story, if its easy to follow
  • The listener reacts positively to you, as it comes across as very well communicated.
  • They retain positive memory of you, we all like to remember people who are easy to understand
  • Improved chance of your recipient accepting your recommendations

Once you have a succinct script then concentrate on delivery. The best design communication is wasted unless it is delivered properly. A bit like a great joke told badly. It’s not funny.

So spend enough time to understand your audience and what will make them pay attention, craft your story then spend time perfecting the delivery.

This will increase your success rates with potential customers.


Shortest time to Ah Ha! 4 February, 2016

Posted by varoom in Selling.
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We as humans in today’s world tend to make our minds up about something very quickly, if we are not interested we switch off. If someone puts the responsibility on us to figure out what they mean most of us won’t do the work.

If someone gets what you do quickly, they are more likely to be interested, pay attention to what else you have to say and may even be persuaded by what you are offering. If you make it complicated, try to convey too much detail or assume prior knowledge the chances are you will fail.

Whenever we approach someone for the first time and we have a story to tell we need to gain their interest as soon as possible. The “Ah Ha” moment occurs when someone gets what you do and what you are offering. The soonest this happens the less likely they are to wander off.

So, when telling a story or making a pitch, design your script to just focus on the key points that are needed to understand what your proposition is. Craft the words so that they are easy to deliver, easy to understand and will be remembered after you have gone. Then you need to work on your delivery so that you can deliver your script in a way which maximises the chance of being understood.

So design your initial pitch so that it takes no time at all to understand what you do and what you are proposing. Having a scripted pitch will ensure you convey the same message each time, not forget any key points and make the most out of every opportunity. Then just keep testing and improving.

Following the Ah Ha! You can then expand further as you will have the interest and attention of your recipient.