All too often, solutions providers get in the habit of carelessly adding value without considering if the value is even necessary to win business. Don’t give things away, particularly if they eat into your margins and your customers don’t find them particularly valuable.
Another nugget had to do with solving customer problems. Schaefer advised you look at your customer’s needs to identify problems. Any problem you find that you can solve cheaper than your customer, you should do so.
Later in the morning, Michael Mazzeo returned to the stage to talk more about customer needs. During the course of his presentation, the topic of “core competency” came up. He pointed out that many seek to find their core competency or have been urged to do so. Honestly, I’m guilty of using the phrase quite often. Mazzeo rightfully points out that core competency doesn’t necessary equal greatness, it’s just what you do best when looking at all your capabilities. Indeed, Mazzeo cautions that your core competency might not pass the market test. His advice is to not ask what you do best among your own traits, but ask what you do better than your competition.
I think that if you can do that exercise honestly, you’ll come up with the proper direction for your company.
Tomorrow is the final day of Inspire, but the education is far from over. Stay tuned for day 3's lessons learned.