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COMPETING AGAINST THE WHALES IN YOUR INDUSTRY

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While simultaneously delivering record-setting sales results in various Sales Leadership roles, Shiraz Siddique has been actively training, consulting and delivering keynotes for more than 20 years in both the Academic and Corporate world. His passionate and innovative delivery style allows him to navigate past the reality that most people want to learn but do not enjoy the traditional process of learning. Through easy to apply techniques and strategies, he helps companies generate the types of results they have always felt they are capable of.

Ok, under no circumstance should you do this. Please refrain and try your best not to visualize this. The last thing you should do is yield to temptation and picture a gigantic grey whale swimming in the ocean! Do not visualize the majestic beast as it graciously makes its way through the cold waters of the Atlantic… you pictured it, didn’t you?

The power of suggestion is almost as powerful as the perspectives we hold. In my early years competing against the BLUE and RED whales in the Canadian telco space, a prevailing thought seemed to always loom over my perspective,

“What if customers succumb to a default position of comfort in brand name safety?”. When VOIP and Hosted PBX burst on the scene, I was leading a sales team for a smaller upstart. We felt like we suffered from a lack of Brand Awareness and, we did. We also faced the slow adoption rate of an emerging technology that was plagued with call quality concerns and reliability issues.

Beyond rolling out a budget-heavy marketing program, a mental pivot was required if we were to fight and compete – and compete we did! As soon as we adopted a clear and concise perspective and new mindset, we were able to sidestep barriers that we were putting up ourselves.


1. Clarity and Confidence in Our Competence.

We knew we could rollout our services more efficiently than anyone else in the game. We began to clear out the clutter of our messaging that connected us the strengths of our competitors. We decided to stop competing on their home court. We changed the conversation to be about what we did best. Turns out it resonated with our prospects as well.


2. Belief

We sincerely believed we were nimble and more responsive to a customer’s customization requirements so we led with our strengths. We began to “be better at what we were better at”. We also believed we had a world-class fulfillment team, so we focused on our post-signature process. Most times, this propelled the buying process past deliberation to a critical thought that often doesn’t get discussed, “So we bought the product/service, now what?”. This again, resonated with our prospects. We took the focus off vendor-selection and onto solution-implementation. We believed and our customers followed suit.


3. Define Who We Serve.

Beyond simply categorizing a target market, we dug deeper into who we were built to serve, then purposed to serve them better than our competition. Being ‘smaller’ meant we were quicker and more agile. Deals that required a short turnaround rocketed to the top of our funnels and received more attention. Deals that required customization to the solution received top priority from our Sales Engineers. Our SEs were happy to be engaged in and working on deals that felt winnable now.


4. Show and Tell.

There is a certain mistrust that comes with the selling/buying process. I rarely continue with a salesperson who says, “Trust me, I know what I’m talking about!”. We actually did not want our prospects to take our word for it. We wanted them to experience if for themselves.

The greatest testimonial and referral one can receive is the own! So we invested in a Demo Room and offered free trials to the extent that we could. We were creating internal champions in every prospect organization we wanted to work with. Was there a cost? Absolutely but less than the cost of continuing to do business as usual. By eroding apprehension, we were in fact building up our Brand. We were responsive and world-class in our implementation.

What powerful image of yourself and your company will you visualize?

We intentionally focused on who we were and not who the competition was. We began to see ourselves as the ‘whales’ of implementation. It’s true, what you focus on grows. We knew we had arrived when we landed our own whale – a 700 seat Call Centre based in Toronto with offices in BC and Quebec. Why did they choose us? We capitalized on who we were and broadcast that message. Turns out our strengths were the weaknesses of the whales that we thought we wanted to be. Turns out what customers wanted was what we were the whole time. We just couldn’t see it.

We finally saw it, seized it and our customers believed it. You don’t need to be a whale – just be the best version of you.


SHIRAZ SIDDIQUE  –  Founder – Leverage Consulting 

About Leverage Consulting

Frustrated after seeing poor ideas get adopted over far superior strategies, Leverage Consulting was founded on one question, “Why doesn’t the best idea always win?” That forced a flipside question, “Why do my prospects consistently select us over the competition?”

Whether delivering group presentations or connecting 1:1, we work with Leaders, Salespeople, and Entrepreneurs to grow their persuasion and influence. We guide our clients through the process of Calculating, Calibrating and Clearly Communicating their product, service or idea.

Our sessions are deliberately designed to challenge participants’ thinking. Our priority is to ensure the learning experience is connected, relevant and enjoyable. We go beyond building successful training programs – we believe in building successful people through skill, confidence, and presence. Ensure your idea wins in your next team meeting or client presentation.www.findyourleverage.ca

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