Every sales call is an opportunity to learn more about your sales process and customer.
Recently, we got a piece of data we hadn’t heard before. We were told that if they’re going to hire a consultant, it would be one of the big consulting firms.
It would be easy to focus on losing the lead but if you do that you’ll never survive sales or business development. Instead, we should focus on customer feedback.
What we just learned was that we haven’t nailed down our value proposition.
When you don’t know your value proposition, you can’t sell anyone. This means our pricing is wrong, we won’t find our ideal customer, and we’ll hire the wrong employees.
We hadn’t nailed this down well enough because we don’t know our voice.
As small business owners or large corporate executives, we can easily design a process to find our brand’s voice and sell better.
You don’t need a college degree to run a business, but no one told me that before I got mine. No one teaches you that a business plan is always wrong.
No one shows you that voice is part of your business’ foundation. Thank goodness you have me!
The wrong voice means you’ve got the:
- wrong culture
- wrong customers
- wrong affiliates or channel partners
- wrong employees
Wrong Culture and Employees
Your voice is a part of your culture because your culture is reflected in how you speak.
When you’re speaking, you’re providing data points to your audience about who you are, what you stand for, how you communicate.
Every data point can be used for them to decide whether you’re someone they want to do business with.
This is why most leaders spend their time talking about their corporate vision. However, you don’t have to repeat the statement over and over to get the message across.
Your actions speak louder than your words so make sure you’re living your voice.
TIP: Living your culture is your voice.
Wrong Customers and Business Partners
Some people will tell you to talk to your customers to find your company voice. The one caveat I’ll add is to talk to your ideal customers.
Your ideal customers (customers who are your brand evangelists) will tell you why they chose you over the competition.
If you don’t have any ideal customers, this is a sign you’ve got the wrong voice.
Don’t forget you’re a customer too so look at your ideal businesses. If you’re an ideal customer for Zappos, Snowbird or Patagonia then you’re probably a bit of a rebel and super cool like me.
YOUR COMPANY VOICE CAN BE AS SIMPLE AS 3 WORDS
We already know your voice attracts your customer and employees. We make data-driven decisions, so we need to know the return on investment of good brand voice.
To get a high ROI on something, you can start by minimizing the investment or cost. Since we want to find and refine our voice quickly, we saw an exercise that breaks down your voice into three words.
For Guerrilla Analytics, the first words that came to mind were:
- Humble about what we do but tenacious about how we do it
- Empathetic for others’ pain points but driven to solve them
- Unrepentant on who we are but respectful of others’ differences
It’s not perfect, but if we build a culture based on the words above, I’d be proud.
A BUSINESS CASE FOR IMPROVING YOUR VOICE
If you want to easily measure what something costs you, ask yourself what’s the process gap?
If I’ve got the wrong customers, employees or culture this means I’ve got a:
- Customer churn gap
- Employee retention
- Employee engagement gap
It wouldn’t be too far off to say you’re developing the wrong products also. If you’re in the middle of an identity crisis, you’re not going to be able to innovate profitably.
TIP: Every process gap flows down to your bottom line.
This means every lost customer equals $X in lost revenue in your income statement. Lost employees mean increased labor costs which result in lower profit margins.
However, these are all short-term consequences. You might be able to survive a few years of lower EBITDA or sales revenue, but a lousy culture means you’ll never get the best employees. The best employees develop the best products and close the best deals.
As the high performers go to your competitors, the tide rises without you.
HOW CAN I FIND MY UVP, FASTER
We need to improve the business process of finding what makes you unique – your unique value proposition (UVP). Finding your brand voice shouldn’t be too far from discovering your personal voice.
Since business is personal, we’ll need to run processes that all go back to the person behind the brand. Set up time daily or weekly to:
There’s no such thing as perfection. All we can do is test the living daylights out of our processes. So invest the time into your data analysis by reviewing your A/B tests to gain the insight into what’s working and what to heave-ho.
Worst case, you get lost for a bit and reach out to a customer or mentor for feedback. In the end, no one gets the right until the gotten it wrong – many, many times.
We have a daily gap analysis on our productivity goals, but I added 15 minutes so my self-reflection as a leader and business owner.
I don’t have KPIs or data, so I go by my emotions to answer the questions:
- Did I get outside my comfort zone today?
- Did I do something I was afraid of?
- Did I make myself proud?
If I can say yes to these, I’m still heading in the right direction.
WHAT I CAN DO TODAY TO IMPROVE
You are an agent of change. You’re building a startup, business or your career. As we grow, our processes don’t grow with us which means neither is your voice.
You’re evolving so evolve your problem solving process to figure out how you want the world to see you. You have something unique to say and a great company or career to build.
It would be a shame if you never figured out how to show us your greatness.