‘It’s so flexible – I can do anything with it!’
‘It’s so flexible – I am often lost – I wish it were more standardized.’
Two typical but radically different answers we got from interviewing customers in a repositioning project for one of our flagship products back in 2005. They were all customers from the same industry, of the same size and the same country. It drove us nuts.
It told us a precious story: We have to be much clearer who we are for and who we are not for. Telling the world, we were an ‘ERP for mid-sized and large Services organizations’ was not enough. It was doing nobody a favor – not our customers, not our sales, not our shareholders.
It felt controversial. I mean, we were not the best-known brand. The typical answer we got from introducing ourselves was ‘Unit-who?’ So ever lead counted. We had to keep the pipeline ‘healthy.’ So, what would happen if we’d suddenly say: We are not the best for every service company – but we’re the best if ‘this’ is what drives your business and the way you make a difference. In other words: If that’s not the case, we’re not for you.
Long story short: we pulled through, and it made the difference. We started to resonate far better with our ideal customers. Win-rates increased, average deal-value grew rapidly, and we were working far more often with customers that became fans and advocates of the product.
As Bernadette Jiwa rightly quotes in her book ‘The right story’: If you want to appeal to the right people, you have to repel the wrong people.’
Being clear who you are for and, more importantly, who you are not for is about doing everybody a favor. You’ll be able to deliver your best work to the people that value it. And that makes everything a lot easier.
So, the question back to you: Who are you not for?
If this keeps you thinking – the Remarkable Effect Tribe might be something that’s right for you. It’s designed for Tech-entrepreneurs-on-a-mission – people like you, driven to solve a big and meaningful problem (and not for CEOs that measure their success by the size of their business or the growth of their top- or bottom-line).