In a knowledge driven economy how do you pitch your capabilities and services to a prospective customer? How do you aspire to become the One whose advice and contribution can realize the client’s end results in the most efficient manner?
As Consultants and Service Providers, we are supposed ‘to know’ about things and stuff…you know that simple yet elusive item which the client’s in-house team is struggling to find a solution to? Think even at the normal household level where the plumber or electrician is expected to see-inspect-look up and offer a workable (and inexpensive) solution; housewives know their handymen.
Individuals and companies demonstrate similar traits when they embark to search and appoint ‘an expert’ to resolve a situation, be it a personal issue (medical-household-auto) or a corporate agenda (audit-financial advice-new project-creative support). They are savvier than before and have at their disposal the skills and means to analyze, obtain related information and arrive at a decision. Their instincts ferret out the average Guy who does not meet expectations of capabilities and delivery.
But, as an Expert / a Champion in a specific field / a subject Guru, you impress with your credential and track record and strike an immediate chord with the audience. After all, you are in your favourite Domain where you excel and can make eye-contact with firmness of speech and clarity in content.
So do build and grow your general knowledge, expand your portfolio of skills and experiences but, stand tall and convey loud and clear where your Domain specialty lies. Differentiate and elevate your position.
You will then surely be the chosen ‘Specialist’.
Let’s face it, heads turn when a well-dressed person walks past, even if not necessarily making an entrance. One gets drawn to a particular brochure design or shop window. Well-laid out interiors get a second look. Designer cars draw admirers and snazzy PowerPoint presentations often work magic.
Beyond mere colors, every person I have come across (and the many that have eluded me) seems to have an inbuilt mental framework of reference as to what constitutes a ‘neat design or layout’. Call it symmetry or the assembly of proportions, it definitely does shape our perception of a thing, item or even a person. And this happens within the first 30 seconds…
It is therefore sensible to assume that our commercial enterprises build upon this and do their utmost to appeal to this sensory perception of their select audience adopting a variety of tools from logo colors, product design and packaging to manicured lawns, smart furniture and security staff uniform and on to retail point elements and eye-catching adverts. Even the online space competes to hold our attention (it’s not just images); the company look and personality is forever on display.
Every touch point, external or internal (employee too have a framework of reference that converts to ‘pride’ at the workplace), contains and delivers an element of an overall message of ‘structure, symmetry & design’ by the company. It is in the DNA of every organization, the inbuilt code in the Brand; expressed through both subtle and clear messages saying “I am doing this for you – now look at me and like me”.
Business by Design.
The other day my client posed me with a deep one- “I have a brand that appears to fit our vision. And we like the logo and all. The business idea is sound. However, we have a situation where our owners are adding assets that will grow the company but, the business is not keeping pace, the people are not delivering to expectations and consequently, the profits are below par…and now the stakeholders are beginning to wonder if they doing the right thing and why the business is not performing as it should, whether there is capacity to take on the new assets and, why is the brand failing??”
My assessment was direct, “you are treating the company and your brand as exclusive to each other whereas, they have to act in unison. Creating the logo and putting out some smart collateral gets you started, qualified talent ensure a quick translation of these into operational activities and in parallel, the enthusiastic owners look to expanding the company in to new territories. Everything appears honky dory except, you experience results as above!
Neither Passion nor Intent can be faulted because this is amply present and this is what is driving you, the company. But, minus a game-plan, devoid of a central story, the business lacks cohesion, dilutes the primary concept and fails to achieve its stated goals. If your team is unable to seize the Potential of Today, how will you set out the Road-map to exploit the Opportunities of Tomorrow?”
A good brand story ensures clarity in thought and integrity in purpose.
It never ceases to amaze me, how few folks actually convey an overwhelming level of ‘passion’ in their conversations relating to their work or hobby. Certainly not the average Joe, Abdul and Ravi nor Nora, Hanna and Anjali from your workplace or neighbourhood. It’s true. When was the last time you were taken in (or aback) by the sheer force of the passion in a person’s voice when talking about their job or product?
In the usual mundane commercial world, it is a huge advantage. When you speak passionately about a business topic the energy comes through, it shows and it impacts. Very noticeably, some of the passion transmits to the listener(s).
Twice in recent weeks, I was fortunate to encounter such individuals. One is the Owner cum Promoter of a Nature Cure Centre; a very presentable and knowledgeable lady who makes an impression and albeit, one of quiet competence. But aah, once she begins to narrate her story of the campus she manages, her eloquence is mesmerizing. The voice sharpens, eyes piercing through and the words flow…in a burst of energy that sucks you in. You hear the passionate appeal, every bit, and very consciously want to participate and get a taste of this product. No brochures needed.
The other was a young European, a product of the Tech-era, full of gigabytes and i-cloud. His enthusiasm and passion for the technology he has evolved is simply contagious. Show him some object or event and it was like pushing a button which triggers an immediate and highly animated response. What passion, what drive!
He will do well. So will the Lady. Their belief in their businesses transcendent normal protocol and sales pitches. Their overwhelming passion creates believers, not buyers.
How passionate are you about what you do daily?
Passion fruit anyone??
S Ranganath is Founder & MD of Magma Consultants. He acts as Advisor & Coach to hospitality, leisure and lifestyle brands.
Recent conversations with Entrepreneurs and observations from my own assignments (a mix of hospitality & technology), confirm that “having a strong business intent” is crucial to ensuring successful conversion of an idea to a viable business model and subsequent commercialization.
It all starts with a Vision.
- This Owner’s Vision coupled with an intent that is expressed with clarity is a powerful driver and essential catalyst to any new enterprise.
- It ensures cohesion in the approach and style of a company & it’s brand
- It brings clarity to the operational processes at all levels of the organization
- It defines the business objectives for the management
- Product, Brand and Delivery remain in synch
- Value systems (internal & external) become firm
- Company culture develops
And the reward?
- Above par market performance
- Consistent profits
- Growing Brand value
Are you putting the market and product first?
Do you have a Vision that drives core intent and builds a story for your company?
S Ranganath is Founder & MD of Magma Consultants. He acts as Advisor & Coach
to hospitality, leisure and lifestyle brands.