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HomemibusinessFrom Competitive to Compelling

From Competitive to Compelling

Two years ago I wrote a book called ‘The Ultimate Marketing Challenge: to create and sell the 3rd result’. The key point was that you can sell to the market ‘the same proposition as most other suppliers offer’ (the 1st result), or ‘a proposition that is slightly better’ (the 2nd result)… or ‘a proposition that creates a much better result’ (the 3rd result). The 3rd result will help you move your business from being ‘just competitive’, to ‘compelling’.

A little while ago I spoke with the CEO of a New Zealand company. This lady has fully embraced the 3rdresult concept and created great sales success at her previous company (she took up her current position only a few months beforehand and I also ended up speaking at her company’s conference in Auckland after that).

She now wishes to introduce the 3rd result idea to the franchisees that make up her company’s key sales force, and I was intrigued to hear what she had to say about how she sold the 3rd result to her sales team at her former company.

So performing at the 3rd result level does not involve ‘serving’ the customer better, it means ensuring that each customer, as a person, achieves the best possible result that we can ‘create’

The Pledge

First of all when she got the book, she said she “studied it”, as opposed to reading it once or just scanning through it. She then resolved to have their organisation operate by the 3rd result edict, and so she arranged for her sales force to each read a copy of the book… and then as a team they moved forward to the point of being compelling and not just competitive.

I find stories like that to be inspirational, to say the least, and in a personal sense it offers great satisfaction to me to learn of people, or companies, that actually ‘run’ with ideas I have recommended.

In my own professional life I operate by a private pledge to be a 3rd result speaker, trainer, consultant and writer. This means two things:

  • Those I serve are positively ‘taken aback’ by the quality and value of ideas offered, as well as by the special ‘delivery’ of the ideas
  • My business and professional life is satisfying, interesting, demanding, creative and very successful…and well balanced with my private life

To operate at the 3rd result merely involves a critical decision, supported by a vow to never slip into 2nd or 1st result levels.

The decision in question is not about ‘beating’ others, for many so-called rivals can be defeated without much effort. Instead, it concerns a promise to deliver the quality of results that customers need but rarely, if ever, ask for.

As customers, we do not possess information about how the best results can be achieved with all the products and services we wish to buy. We are concerned about our own businesses, not the businesses of those who serve us. Thus, more often than not we experience average results when buying, because what we are sold is basically only what we asked for!

Reaching For 3rd

Reaching the level of a 3rd result business, company or sales person, involves a focus on people, not customers based on two simple and compelling facts:

  1. All customers are ‘buyers’ and all people are ‘achievers’
  2. All customers are people!

So performing at the 3rd result level does not involve ‘serving’ the customer better, it means ensuring that each customer, as a person, achieves the best possible result that we can ‘create’.

Customers are buyers for less than two per cent of their time, but as people they spend 98 per cent of their time trying to figure out how to be successful… at whatever they do, and in this regard they need all the help they can get.

Selling 3rd result solutions does not involve simply working harder, it involves aiming to operate at levels much higher than most suppliers could even imagine… because what they think about is ‘giving customers what they want’.

There is nothing wrong with giving customers what they want, along with nice service and reasonable prices… After all, most business transactions are based upon this weak performance platform. However, to serve at the 3rd result level the challenge is to rise above transacting and reach the point of transcending, or put another way… to make the business move from being competitive to compelling!

John Lees is a sales and marketing specialist engaged in speaking, training, consulting and business coaching. John is also the author of 11 books on business development. For more information, contact John Lees via email: [email protected] or visit his website: www.johnlees.com.au.