Ralph is a co-author of the book Topple: The End of the Firm-Based Strategy and Rise of New Models for Explosive Growth.
He refers to himself as a moth to a flame when it comes to addressing hard problems.
Ralph points to the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland as a perfect analogy for businesses all over the world. Though they run faster and faster, they stay in the same place.
People get seduced by shiny new objects such as AI, digital capability, and other buzzwords and they get caught up in a race. They are chasing the same objects everyone else is, but what will truly be different in a few years as a result of these things?
In many cases, companies simply burn up resources chasing after them, but they stay in the very same place.
Instead, he focuses on the new models and growth engines around the world and how people can take advantage of them.
Don’t run the Red Queen’s race, and don’t force your clients to run it either.
Instead, differentiate yourself and tell a good story. Understand real problems.
Working with an entrepreneur in Kenya on an extremely challenging problem, Ralph discovered that new growth engines have emerged but people are still doing business the same way.
He worked to put his arms and legs around the patterns and commonalities that emerged, and he discovered four lessons of explosive growth.
He and the entrepreneur in Kenya worked together to figure out what capabilities they needed in order to solve their problem in a new way.
For every organization, about 20 percent of capabilities drive 70 percent of value. But the 20 percent changes. What is the new 20 percent you need to be relevant tomorrow?
If you believe that we live in a fundamentally changing competitive environment, then it makes sense that the capabilities you need to take advantage of that environment are different.
To solve the problem in Kenya, the pair orchestrated a new 20 percent that solved the problems they were facing, and by the end of six months, they were producing in one day what they had previously produced in a week.
When Detroit’s automakers announced two years ago that they were no longer car companies but were mobility companies, that was a reflection of a new 20 percent of capabilities that will drive value in the future.
Immediately, investments and partnerships between tech companies, data companies, analytic companies, and car companies emerged. Industry walls are coming down.
As a salesperson, refuse to run the Red Queen’s race. In a changed world, there’s are new strategic questions.
Every existing organization by definition has been successful. It’s the reason they are in business today.
They’ve gotten where they are today by organizing what they do. They built products and methods and they get paid for it.
The problem is that the world shifts and making that shift is hard. Companies don’t always recognize the new capabilities that they need.
New competitors emerge with new capabilities and shrinking margins should clue us into the change.
Value captured is value seen. If you can’t see it, there’s no way you’ll be able to capture it.
If you’re optimized for a world that no longer exists, that doesn’t work in a world of explosive growth companies. It isn’t enough to try to do more, better, faster, cheaper with what you’ve currently got.
Of course, customer experience is critical, but the way we’re thinking of it is inside out. Customers don’t care about our products themselves. They care about what our products allow them to do.
Customers don’t care about your credit card, but rather about what your credit card allows them to do. They buy a cup of coffee because of how it makes them feel and what it does for them.
Polishing up your products and services misses the fundamental point of what customers want to do and where they spend their time, energy, and resources.
All explosive growth rests on tackling friction in our customers’ lives. What are the friction points in the way our customers live their lives?
What are the new 20 percent capabilities I can develop to address those friction points?
If you believe that your competitive landscape has changed, that requires a new strategic question. You compete in a world of ecosystems rather than industries. Find a new 20 percent capabilities to solve your customers’ friction and begin to grow explosively.
Reach out to Ralph at www.topplebook.com where you can find out more about his book or connect with him.
This episode is brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. To get a demonstration of maximizer, go to the sales evangelists.com/maximizer.
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Part of sales is knowing how to read your customers well and understanding what they’re thinking so you would know how to handle the situation and in order for the sales to progress.
Today’s guest is Jonathan Furman who has extensive experience in the sales industry. He is the founder and CEO of Furman Transformation, a management consulting firm that also does advertising and PR all rolled into one. They cater to small to medium sized businesses looking for a company that gets them into growth.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Jonathan:
How to Better Read Your Buyers:
Your time and their time are valuable so you need to make the initial qualification. In doing cold calls, grab their attention in the first 20 seconds because that’s all you’ve got. If they dismiss you, excuse yourself, thank them, and hang up the phone.
Don’t be afraid to ask the buyer right off the bat if it’s something they’re interested in or something they think they could benefit from. This tells them you’ve got something of value, that you’re serious, and whether they’re serious too. If you get past this checkpoint, go on to the next one. Are they willing to give them your time? Otherwise, move on to other prospects who could be a better fit. Now, you’re reading the response, depending on what they say, whether you should move forward or not.
Understand there are different ways prospects say things that mean different things. When someone is talking to you, they’re saying it verbally and emotionally and they don’t always coincide with each other. Sometimes you may say one thing verbally and say something else emotionally. Sometimes you say the same thing verbally and emotionally. And sometimes you just don’t know what’s going on.
The verbal aspect is just that and a person may verbally say yes but emotionally, that person may not be interested. So you need to qualify them again by asking if this is something that interests them because you don’t want to waste their time. Right there, you will find out their true response. This is the initial hook before you proceed with your presentation.
Listen to how your buyers say things, what they say, and what is the meaning of what they’re saying.
Get them to answer questions and once you feel they’re engaging back with you, you’ve already got somebody on the hook. Now you’re 50-70% there since you’ve got somebody talking to you.
Buyers may try to be polite and ask you to send information all in without really the intention of looking at it. That is their way of dismissing you. But it could also be possible that you’re already ten to twenty minutes down through the conversation and then the buyer asks you for information since they’re busy. That’s another story. So you need to be able to understand what they’re really saying and what they mean by sending them some information.
You know the buyer is interested the minute they ask you a real, thought-provoking question. Now that they’re interested, you can then go into a real conversation about what they need and what you can do for them.
Jonathan’s Major Takeaway:
Really learn to step back from the pressure. Don’t try so hard on the result. Give value to the process.
Get in touch with Jonathan on www..FurmanTransformation.com or give him a call at 561-571-0638.
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