Straight Talk about the “L” word

How did David beat Goliath?  With a rock.  And some leverage.

David had a bigger, meaner competitor, we can assume that the big guy had won many fights before, he was probably very confident, who beats a giant?  But David didn’t fight Goliath’s fight, he fought his own way, with a slingshot that multiplied the power of a lowly rock.  David found his leverage and defeated the giant, what were the odds of that?

Finding your Leverage is key for a smaller business.  If you can’t redefine the battleground to maximize your competitive advantages, the task will be much more difficult.   Here are five steps to success.

  • What is your identified measurable goal? Clearly defining the mission is key to minimizing both financial and time waste. What is the time period you are allowing to achieve the goal?  (yes, it will probably take longer, but setting milestones will help keep you on task)
  • Be honest with yourself. What is your current situation?  Are you growing, stagnant or declining? What are your competitive assets—what do you bring to the marketing battleground?  Assets are not just the financial funds available, but any proprietary processes, intellectual concepts and industry experience that you have acquired.  Next conduct a realistic appraisal of your current (today) business.  Both Strengths and Weaknesses need to be researched and identified
  • Where is the opportunity? Review the competitive market, what do you have that you can leverage against the competition.  Be open and creative, sometimes the best leverage is one that you overlook.  What may seem “simple” to you is extremely valuable to the potential customer.  As you explore potential leverage points discuss with current clients to determine what they most value in your relationship.  This is inexpensive and valuable feedback, most likely acquired in a casual setting (lunch, drinks, etc.)
  • Listen.  Your clients/potential clients can tell you what their pain point is, but if you are just “transmitting” and not listening you will never know.  Your solution won’t be the right one unless you understand the problem.  Many times the client can’t discover their leverage.  Our job is to listen and help find the competitive leverage.
  • Probe. Finding the best leverage point(s) can be discovered through both data analysis and our eyes and ears to find the emotional hooks that can be leveraged as a unique weapon against your larger competition.  By combining the logical data and adding the human element can we find the recipe for a creative leap to a “golden nugget” idea – that leverages the rational advantage with an emotional hook – your “slingshot”.

Don’t expect to discover your brilliant slingshot in a day.  Find and analyze your data, use an outside adviser to help you get past your own bias, find the quiet time to reflect and find that “golden nugget” idea that is your slingshot.  Strategy and creativity, a powerful combination.  Need help getting there?  Let’s talk.

-David Hays

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