This weekend, in celebration of the beginning of summer, I was invited to a dinner with friends. At the end of dinner, the host brought out one of my favorite desserts, key lime pie.
I feigned politeness, letting everyone take their pieces before I served myself. Truthfully, it was pure selfishness, I wanted to get a bigger piece of the pie.
For many of us, I’m one of those, there’s always the tendency to go after a bigger piece of the pie. Long time followers know I’m fond of saying, “It’s our God-given right to 100% share of account and share of customers–we just have to figure out how to do this.”
There is a huge opportunity for us to get a bigger piece of the pie in competing for business. Unfortunately, most of our selling strategies focus on the smallest and most difficult piece of the pie, beating the competition.
Don’t get me wrong, I want to dominate every sales situation, I want to beat my competition every time. But this focus on the competitor blinds us to the biggest piece of the pie, and we’ve know this for years–failing to do anything about it!
60% of committed/funded buying efforts end in No Decision Made!
All our focus is on fighting for the smallest piece of the pie, that 40% where customers choose a vendor.
Imagine the opportunity we can create, and the value we create with our customers, if we started looking at the biggest piece of the pie and started going after that.
But to compete for this bigger piece of the pie, we have to refocus our selling strategies. Fortunately, through the work of Matt Dixon and Ted McKenna, we are learning how to do this.
Of that 60% of the pie that’s is up for grabs, 44% (26% of the whole pie) is the customer preference for the status quo. Stated differently, the pain of change is greater than that of doing nothing. We have all sorts ways for addressing this (and discounting isn’t one). Developing business cases to help them understand the lost opportunity and the costs of doing nothing are powerful in building the case for change, moving from the status quo.
But what about the other 56% of that “left over pie.” (34% of the whole pie) What causes this? Matt and Ted tell us this is driven by indecision–the fear of messing up. However compelling the business case or need to change is, until we deal with the customer indecision, we will not get them to move forward.
I’m not advocating we stop paying attention to winning and beating the competition. I just think we and our customers miss a huge opportunity by failing to look at what’s left–the decisions they fail to reach. How do we help them and get a bigger piece of the pie?
Back to our dinner party. The host knows me well. She saw what I was doing with the key lime pie. She sent me home with the rest of the pie…..
Wasting any part of the pie is, well a waste…….
Afterword: Read Matt and Ted’s great article in HBR: https://hbr.org/2022/06/stop-losing-sales-to-customer-indecision. Preorder The Jolt Effect