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Can You Be Indispensable?

by Doug Davidoff | Jun 21, 2010 3:00:37 AM

My post on Wednesday focused in on the importance of understanding your customer’s business model to develop a selling proposition that can make you indispensable.

For three years now, I’ve been speaking around the country talking with CEOs and salespeople evangelizing the idea that in a world where discretionary budgets have all but disappeared, the only sustainable strategy for long-term business growth is to become non-discretionary or indispensable. For three years, no one disagreed with me.

Then Wednesday I got a tweet in response to my post from Arié Moyal saying that there was no such thing as indispensable. This led to the conversation you can see on the left.

The conversation got me thinking – is @amoyal right? So I went to dictionary.com and looked up the definition - absolutely necessary, essential, or requisite.

My short answer is a clear “yes.” While indispensability is not a permanent status, nor is it an entitlement, it can be achieved and maintained.

When you make The Shift from selling “stuff” to selling results, you can become absolutely necessary. The nature of competitive markets and changing environments means that you have to work hard – often extremely hard – to maintain that status, but if you continue to practice the rules that got you there, you can stay there.

What do you think? How do you attain indispensable status?