I hope you enjoyed last week’s conversation about steering into the (practice) skid. The fundamentals still apply and work. We don’t need to change what we’re doing (prospecting, networking, delivering value, following up) … maybe just how we’re doing it. And “new” tools like the ones I suggested might help, especially since our industry titans have been doing it for years.
On to this week. A product/service can almost always be viewed as either a vitamin or a painkiller. Which do you sell? The former is an inexpensive easy-to-have; the former is an expensive must-have.
And if you’re new here, welcome aboard. This is what we do!
One thing I found last week … Do you struggle to sandwich a workout into your day? Even more so when you’re traveling? Got 15-20 minutes and space the size of a yoga mat. Try the 5 Tibetans.
My take: I’ve been doing these exercises for a week, and my lower back (a problem since a senior high snow shoveling injury) feels great, as does my overall energy level. And the routine is perfect for the RV where inside workout space is limited.
Are you a vitamin or a painkiller?
What’s the difference? Kind of obvious, but vitamins:
#1 – Are condition-generic and can be found in every grocery or drug store …
And so they’re easy to come by.
#2 – Don’t have universally recognized health benefits …
And so taking them may or may not make you feel better.
#3 – They are made by a lot of different companies and are indistinguishable …
And so they’re differentiated by meaningless shapes and flavors.
#4 – Are relatively inexpensive …
And so if you want them, they are easy-to-haves.
On the other hand, painkillers:
#1 – Are condition-specific and require a prescription …
And so they’re hard to obtain.
#2 – Have been proven to relieve specific symptoms …
And so they have a noticeable effect after they’re taken.
#3 – Not made by a lot of companies …
And not every company makes every kind of painkiller.
#4 – Are usually expensive …
But when you need them, they are must-haves.
Think about our transactions with prospects, clients, and referral sources.
Are our services vitamin-like or painkiller-like? What’s the difference? Maybe not as obvious, but my continuing analogy is that:
- Vitamins are sold by subject matter experts … people who know stuff.
- Painkillers are sold by thought leaders … people who are known for what they know.
And do people come to us specifically because we offer vitamins or painkillers? If the former, we’re going to be in a world of hurt or, you know, competing on the basis of price.
BVFLS services are sold by subject matter experts or thought leaders.
What’s the difference between the two (because it may not seem like there’s a fine line)?
If we’re “only” positioned as subject matter experts, we may lose traction with our prospects, clients, and referral sources over time if:
- We can be found in abundance.
- Our services are generic.
- And it’s just about doing something to paper the file.
But if we’re well positioned as thought leaders, we can become indispensable to our prospects, clients, and referral sources over time if:
- We are indeed rare gems.
- Our services are relatively specialized.
- And we demonstrate exactly how we can create value.
Most of us detest marketing … but it’s really not marketing if it’s about strategies and tactics that move us from someone who knows stuff to someone who is known for what they know. (I am reminded of our pesky industry titans again).
Here are two tips to accomplish this transition.
- Differentiate yourself from your competition; base it on what you do that’s different, which is easier to demonstrate than how you’re better.
- Probe your prospects, clients, and referral sources for their pain points and the value that they ascribe to getting rid of that pain.
And the result will not be the energy-draining, door-knocking, hoping-to-gain-access kind of marketing that you’ve come to know. Rather, you will be sought out by prospects, clients, and referral sources who will be perfectly suited to you because they know exactly what you do and how well you do it.
In real life
Figure out how to take what many buyers consider to be a vitamin (our BVFLS services) and turn it into a painkiller … your painkiller – something that you or only a very few in the industry can offer or are willing to offer.
– If you like what I write about, tell a colleague.
– If something resonates and you want to reach out directly, email me.
– If you think we share common interests, connect with me on LinkedIn.
– If you want a sense of how well your practice is working for you, take this Practice Self Assessment.