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Defining Your Field of Play

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Nov 3, 2008 11:34:22 AM

In The Five Unbreakable Rules for Creating Demand, I share that the first unbreakable rule is to:  Know and understand your customer better than they know and understand themselves.  This means that you must identify who your customer is.  As a matter of fact, there is probably no greater nor more valuable effort for a business to take than clearly identifying and articulating their WHO.

Inevitably, whenever I see a sales cycle bogged down, margins compressed, or momentum on the downswing, the underlying cause for these problems is that the company doesn't clearly understand WHO their customer really is, or WHAT they are really buying.

Understand, if you don't fully understand your WHO, you cannot know what they are buying.  Knowing your WHO, means two things:  first, it means fully understanding who your Best Few Client is, and, second, it means knowing who your customer isn't.

The lack of clarity or confidence about the WHO forces companies to approach the market with vague messaging and weak value propositions.  Afraid to turn away someone, they fail to provide a compelling reason to buy for anyone.  This means longer sales cycle times and increased costs to make sales.

When you are clear about your WHO - you define the playing field, for both your and your customers.  When the playing field is clear, you can create messaging and you structure your go-to-market strategy to play to your strengths.  You can innovate with confidence.  Differentiation becomes simpler, because it becomes clearer.  You begin to stand out in your market.  Frankly (and at the risk of hurting my consulting fees), if all you do is focus maniacally on defining who your best few markets and clients are, the vast majority of everything else that needs to be done becomes natural.

So, stop now and start defining your WHO.  If you'd like a tool we use to help our clients define who their WHO is, let us know - we'll be glad to share it with you.  If you have ideas or tools that work, please share them in the comments section.

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Topics: B2B Sales Strategy, Demand Generation