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  1. Martin Schmalenbach permalink

    Thanks again Dave for this timely reminder.

    I think many struggle with this seemingly paradoxical challenge:

    In order to get a new client, you have to give them reason to move. Once they’ve moved you have to give them reason to stay – these look like opposing missions!

    The reality, as you allude to, is that the reason a client moves to you is also the reason they stay – you give them greater value than they can get anywhere else, and this is almost never going to be about the products & services you offer…

    Recently a major player in the web-based video communications/coaching world tried to tempt us away from our current provider ‘Commercial Tribe’. The sales person was very proud of how successful they were flipping clients from Commercial Tribe to them. OK, great. But that doesn’t help me one little bit with my challenges.

    He wanted to do a pilot on a small scale. Seems reasonable, except my sales managers, some of them, would have to contend with working 2 systems together – confusing potentially, and not popular!

    He thought he was at ‘Trusted Advisor’ status because we had a bit of a rapport. I suspect.

    What I learned from this interaction over a few weeks is just what I DID value in my partnership with CommercialTribe. I realised that this other player could offer me their platform for free and save us hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, and I still wouldn’t take it!

    Why? Because Commercial Tribe ARE Trusted Advisors. They are utterly focused on helping me tackle my challenges. They bring me perspectives, insight, and help us avoid pitfalls and select the best option at the time. Consequently we have, with them, evolved a fantastic and practical tool that will demonstrably have a huge impact on our ability to get invite to the rest of the conversation, with new clients as well as existing ones.

    They gave me reason to try out this new technology, to buy in to it, and regularly they give me reason to stay with them.

    There’s no paradox to face when you are totally focused on creating value with (not ‘for’!) the client…

    • Fascinating case study Martin. It seems he was more focused on a competitive displacement than creating real value that was meaningful to you. Because of his lack of focus on what you valued and how he could augment and grow value with you, he instead reinforced the value Commercial Tribe was creating. Huge sales error!

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