Use Ideas As A Competitive Advantage
Your customers buying habits have changed, your business mixed has changed, and things just aren’t the same as they once were. How has your business strategy changed? What have you put into place that allows you to get closer to your customers? Working towards being more of a customer-centric business has never been more important. As many of your customers are working to reengage within their marketplace, they need new ideas, they need new tools that will help them effectively promote their business. Being considered an idea generator, secures a place at the table for these discussions and helps to create a competitive advantage.
The health crisis of 2020 accelerated many of the trends that were already happening in the business of B2B communication. There’s more accountability and transparency in how clients buy and their expectations. Expectations have grown around the what’s being printed, and its outcome. The overall supplier performance is also being monitored as many buyers are utilizing performance metrics to rate their partners.
How you meet these expectations comes down to making choices. I’ve written in the past about those who have become operationally excellent and streamlined their workflow to drive out unnecessary cost and provide an exceptional customer experience. That path can work very well for those customers who know exactly what they want, are organized, and are looking for flawless execution. Other customer groups may have different needs. Their focus and needs are around trying new things so that they can achieve different results. They are experimenting with new concepts. Their business may have been severely affected by the health crisis and they know that just doing what they used to do may no longer be effective. This group needs new ideas.
Where do you excel, what is your passion within the business? The best answer is to be both operationally efficient as well as the go-to resource for new ideas. Without new ideas, you are reacting to projects that I’ve been dreamed up by others, often times influenced by your competitors. Being that idea generator, and trusted advisor, gives you a competitive advantage in the marketplace. It is an intangible that is driven off of your experiences and the intellectual capital within your organization.
We know what we know, and what we know is made up from a collection of our experiences, what we read, who we listen to, and what’s on our calendar. Where are you getting your new ideas? Asking great questions and being a good listener with your customers is a great place to start. Internal collaboration with your team is also great. External resources within the industry, and external sources from outside the industry help to round things out. Take a hard look at your calendar and what’s been on your to do list. Make any changes that you feel necessary so that you’re exposed to new thinking. This will help you formulate ideas that will make an positive impact on your customers business.
Dealing with change within our personal and business lives is difficult, but those are the cards we’ve been dealt. Take the initiative to make the changes you need to bring new ideas to your clients and start creating demand vs. reacting to someone else’s RFP’s.
If you have any comments or thoughts as to how you’ve approached these issues, please send me a note or include them below.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic advice, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Philie leverages his 28 years of direct industry experience in sales, sales management and executive leadership to share what’s working for companies today and how to safely transform your business. Since 2007, he has been providing consulting services to privately held printing and mailing companies across North America.
Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the graphic communications industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion, and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach.