In a recent post on his blog, Seth Godin compared ‘hacks’ and scientific experiments to one another. He explained that hacks are focused only on the outcome of a scenario, while anyone searching for fairness and utility rely on a process. And, that reliable process will typically deliver the desired outcome. He further stated that you can game the process for a little while, but in the long run the approach will always catch up with you. However, if you’re following consistent principles, you maximize your success.
As we think about ValueSelling we often discuss the importance of the six key elements in the ValuePrompter. Most importantly that those elements Business Issue, problem, solution, value, power and plan – must be understood from the customer’s vantage point and perspective. Anytime we try and “hack the system” and skip one of these elements we are increasing the likelihood of risk in our deals. How often have we participated in or witnessed sales teams who have left some of these key areas up to the customer to figure out for themselves? For example expecting the prospect to uncover the unique problem or problems only your organization can solve. Or perhaps letting the customer/prospect determine what the real quantifiable value is in addressing the problems they face with your solution. Or further assuming that the primary person we’re interfacing with has the “power” to shepherd the deal across the finish line. When in reality it requires a higher level and in elevating the linkage to that person. Any unknown elements only increase and create additional risk.
We can’t hack or game the system – at least not without minimizing and mitigating the return on the investment of our MOST precious asset – our time! So, let’s remember to consistently apply the fundamentals of the process. Whenever we feel compelled to “hack” the system, let us check back against our fundamentals and make sure we have everything covered.