Well, there is the economy. The recession has slowed customer demand in most segments a lot. Still, excel in a recession and life should be even better when the economy picks up.
So, the company has a competitive advantage and it is one that matters to your customers. You have solid, objective evidence that this is true, right?
If so, the issues lie in implementation. Have you investigated buying behavior to ensure your promotional plan will meet prospects when and where they are looking for you? If not, know where to find your prospects and what they are looking for. Your promotional plan needs to take this into account.
With all the footwork done and the strategies and plans set, the key becomes implementation. How to get the message out effectively. How to brand consistently, and build value through the brand. That in itself can be a competitive advantage – with strong equity. Think of Coca Cola.
All prospect and customer touch points become critical. From the first contact as a new lead through to shipping and invoicing. What is your prospect’s or customer’s experience? Try to live it yourself, to understand how the experience REALLY is. Don’t base your decisions on internal company myths. These often hold the company in higher regard than customers do.
Quick surveys can help here. To understand what customers appreciate, would like more of, and how the company stacks up against the competition. Then solve the key issues effectively – turn them into company advantages.
It takes work, dedication, and a solid understanding of your market – prospects and customers alike. Feel free to write, tell me how it’s going, and where you are seeing the challenges and wins.
For more resources, see the Library topic Business Development.
Tove Rasmussen, of Partners Creating Wealth, offers business expertise worldwide to help organizations grow, and disadvantaged regions thrive.
Photo credit: Hectorir