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Pre-Webinar Overview

Too often as an industry, CI firms and practitioners find themselves competing against larger consulting firms or ‘industry experts’ and either doubt their own value, or feel the need to ‘prove it’ to a new client or stakeholder by heavily discounting, breaking an engagement into less costly phases, or even providing free services to demonstrate value. The work that we have done, the references that we have built up, and the expertise that we offer have value. If we give that away, or we discount it, then we diminish our value in the minds of our clients. I am suggesting that it is time we draw a line that shouldn’t be crossed in defining and defending the value of our services to clients.

 

Learning Objectives

  1. How to Determine how valuable something is to your client
  2. How to Define that value to the client so that they understand and accept it
  3. How to Defend the value of your service in negotiations

 

Post-Webinar Summary

Getting clients, and internal stakeholders, to understand the importance of competitive intelligence (CI) projects can be daunting for even an established CI department. Mikey McPhail says that using three Ds can help communicate value:

  • Determine
  • Define
  • Defend

The airline’s first class curtain is a good example of defining value. Even though everyone on the plane is going to the same place, the airline has determined what the value for each spot on that plane is.

It is often difficult to price projects on what they are really worth because a lot of people have a difficult time defining work. Many CI practitioners define work based on the value of their time, when they really should define based on what the worth of the product is to the client.

Defending value and the importance of competitive intelligence can only be done when it has been determined and defined well. In competitive intelligence projects, it is important not to defend by allowing a client to attack the scope of the project. Use a checklist to stay confident in pricing, and don’t be afraid to walk away from bad revenue when necessary.


 

The Importance of Competitive Intelligence: Webinar Transcript

INTRODUCTION

Michel: Hello everyone! I’m Michel Bernaiche with Aurora WDC. Welcome to the Intelligence Collaborative, a twice monthly series powered by Aurora, designed to help you as intelligence professionals overcome challenges you may be facing in your work today.

We’ve always viewed our Intel Collab webinars as a chance to challenge each other, as peers in the greater pursuit to be more effective for our enterprises, and to lift one another’s performance to higher levels. To that end, I’m excited to have Mikey McPhail with us today to discuss Upgrading Competitive Intelligence Brand Value to First Class.

Mikey is Director of Business Intelligence for ManpowerGroup Solutions and oversees the measurement and analysis of business and workforce data. He has led a global initiative to aggregate workforce data, cross lines of business, functional areas and cultural barriers in order to develop innovative data models to deliver insights into hiring patterns, client behavior, candidate value, cost analysis and correlation studies across economic, industrial and client driven activity to workforce behavior and hiring performance.

He built the workforce business analysis function with ManpowerGroup, hiring and developing a team to collaborate with clients and internal operations in the alignment of activity and data to evaluate and determine the best methodologies to capitalize on existing and future workforce strategies. Working in collaboration with Market and Competitive Intelligence, his extensive knowledge of workforce analytics and insights related to the correlation of the hiring process and performance enables him to synthesize complex sets of data and maximize the value of workforce assets and strategies.

Mikey works with global clients assessing the impact of internal and external dynamics on organizational initiatives in order to identify and recommend projects and solutions that align with a client’s strategic objectives. This consulting is designed to support quarterly business initiatives and annual planning.

Before we get started today, a couple of housekeeping reminders. Use the Questions pane on your GoToWebinar control panel and all questions will be answered in the second half of the hour. You’re also welcome to tweet any comments on Twitter hashtag #IntelCollab. Slides and the recording will be made available after the webinar via slideshare/IntelCollab.

And ahead of our Reconverge conference next week in Madison with the theme of high performance, Mikey’s webinar is a great set up for next week. We’ll be joined by nearly 100 intelligence professionals dealing with the same challenge – that is, the constant struggle of proving the importance of competitive intelligence and market intelligence – and with that, Mikey, the floor is all yours.

START OF PRESENTATION

Mikey: Michel, thank you so much. I’m very excited for the opportunity to speak with you and your colleagues. Over the next half hour or so, we’re going to talk about the concepts of value and we’re going to look at it a little differently.

Today, a lot of times we go through our projects repetitively. Sometimes, the same clients, same customers, a lot of times the same projects just with a different business unit. We’ve done this so many times over and over and over again that a lot of what we do and how we think has become subconscious.

A year ago, I came through and had an epiphany and out of that epiphany these three factors came into play. So throughout today, we’re going to talk about them and think differently through a little bit of fun visualization.

Here’s what we do. First, we determine how valuable something is to our client and we’ll define the importance of competitive intelligence to our clients so that they can understand and accept what we’re bringing to them. And the third D is defend, and I know we’ve all been there. So we will go through all of these in detail, with some examples just so that, while you look at this slide, some might be thinking as I did, you know, this is common sense. You’ve done this for years but because we’ve done it for years, maybe we’ve got into some bad habits, and I had to do some soul searching and I know that I am as guilty as anyone of not following these three Ds. It really came down to one plane ride.

But before I get started, for those of you who might know me. I’m little bit quirky. I have fun. Here’s a cartoon that we can all appreciate. For those of us who have been on a plane this week, because we were afraid to make eye contact with the people who are already sitting in their first class seat, who had already been served their beverage, because they knew they didn’t want to throw peanuts at peanut gallery going into at the back of the plane. Now the difference is this cartoon talks about how the customer’s attitude affects us.

What we’re going to talk about is this scenario – how the airline’s attitude impact us. So some of you might be sitting there right now during the lunch hour, might be early in the morning, you might have breakfast in front of you. So we’re going to take you through some mental dinner theater.

I want you to think of it this way, you get in your car, you are heading to the airport and you’re fighting traffic. You’ve now gotten into the airport, TSA line, get out the door. You’ve now gotten to meet the guy that you see every week. You’ve gotten your obligatory TSA pat-down. You are now at your gate. You are standing in a line. You’ve wait until they call the zone three. They give you little bungee cord to help keep the lavatory door open and you sit in your seat and you have a tray that’s not properly working; the kid in the back of you is kicking your seat.

About a year ago, I had a very similar situation. We’ve all been there. And I boarded the plane and I was sitting at the bulkhead so I had no room for my legs, scoot next to the person right next to me and I started to look around, getting an idea of what I was doing before I could start working on my project. At 10,000 feet once the bell went off, I did what everyone else did, and I pulled out my computer; like Pavlov’s dog, I started to type and I was trying to finish my product for my client. And right about that time, the flight attendant came over and unlatched a little piece of Velcro and slid a very thin curtain across first class.

I’m sitting right there and about that time, the flight attendant came down with a beverage cart, and as she was counting my ice cube into my cup, I asked for my peanuts as many of you have known I did not get peanuts because someone on the plane had an allergy. So I asked for two piece of pretzels of which I was denied, while the same time, I was watching the young lady in first class be served her wine in a glass and I overheard the conversation as she ordered her dinner.

So you’re asking, what is this have to do with competitive intelligence? The epiphany was that it has anything to do with value. The airlines have convinced us that that tiny curtain separates the value of their product. Everyone on the plane was going to the exact same place, everyone on the plane should have been getting the same service, but for a variety of reasons, value is defined differently based on where you were on the plane. When they identified it, they started to go through the first D. They already determined what their value meant.

When you started to think about this circle and what they go through: what do they want? They want to get from point A to point B. What do they need? Well, I need the plane to stay in the air. What can you do? Really, the customer can’t do anything except you put your seatbelt and make sure you pay attention to the safety precautions. Then, it gets down to what all of us start to think value truly means and that is cost. So when you think about your products, your projects, there’s a couple things that we should do – whether it’s in your personal life or your professional life – and that is we should always price our products and engagements on what they are worth. Now what does that mean?

Because a lot us have a difficult time defining work, a lot of us have a challenge in understanding that we are now going to go to what we shouldn’t do and we define worth based on what we think the client will pay. Now one of the quotes since I was preparing for this was from Richard Branson, and before I give you my examples, he said that “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming along.”

I had a client, telecommunications company, who came to me and asked for ten cities. We go through the research, we look at their product, we’ve looked at all of their competitors, we priced that accordingly, we scoped it properly and we determined what it was worth to them. About two weeks after we finished with that product, another telecommunications company came to us. In the scoping meeting, it became very evident that they were almost identical: ten cities, same competitors, almost exact same product. It was a huge opportunity. The same client, the Fortune 10 company, we immediately started to think of the opportunity that this will give us drive to the revenue and get our foot on the door.

Having already done the work, everything that we needed were sitting right there. We priced it according to what we thought the client would pay and what they thought it was worth. But we had determined in our mind what it was worth to us. What we forgot to take into account is that there was a compression of time and when we really started to pull in the information, we realize that out of the ten cities, we’re only able to use only two of them. So not only had we misidentified our determination of work to the client, we had undervalued our own product, which leads us to the second D, which is defining.

Defining and determination are really, really different. Defining, a lot of times, immediately as project leads, as sales people, and as consultants, we start to look at defining across the service, and it could not be farther from the truth because we are always looking internally. We missed the fact, as I did with that big fish, to recognize what it was worth to them: what their needs were, how they were using it and positioning it. To which point the client’s time, my time – right there is where it dawned on me.

Defining the importance of competitive intelligence had nothing to do with my time. It had everything to do with our client’s time. The questions came down to what is a day worth to that client. I was able to define it differently when I split years in my head that it wasn’t worth one day worth to my team, with my team or what is one day worth to that client. So as an example, when you think you’ve determined your needs and you’ve gotten your framework for the engagement, you start to look around and realize that the definition of value and the definition of worth is completely different, and I found one that I thought was very interesting, McDonald’s.

You read about McDonald’s in the paper because their food is awful. They’re leading to the obesity of the world through Happy Meals. McDonald’s has started to “redefine what their brand is.” When in reality, I believe that they have missed the mark. When you think of McDonald’s, when I was a child, I think of the family experience. And as I was walking through and preparing for this, I happen to look up the word, worth, and of course, you have your obligatory definitions that all deal with money/currency exchange, but two really jumped out at me: worth is good or important enough to justify, and the other one is its usefulness or importance, either to the world or a person or a purpose.

And I admittedly realize that in my opinion and in many of our opinions, the definition of value and worth of McDonald’s is more than just a Happy Meal. They, on the other hand, have tried to define their client’s worth and value, through their dollar menu and to the fact that they have started the to shift how they sell certain products, such as the samples on the screen. We are now being charged for condiments; they forgot about the playground. They forgot about the time you get to spend with your kids. They forgot about opportunity and they came down and boiled it down to a price point. And you wondered, why did I choose, for example, charging me for condiments.

They missed the part that when my daughter was younger, she was a picky eater. The only thing she liked to eat was chicken nuggets but she only ate chicken nuggets with sweet and sour sauce. At times I may have to go, I may only get a shake, but I always got an extra sweet and sour sauce so that I will have it at home, because I have defined the value not in the condiments, but the fact that I can get my daughter to eat. We do this today when we look at our clients. We have forgotten that we, unless talking to them appropriately, can’t read their minds. We need to gather information to know their definition of worth is, what they deem valuable – not preach to them what we believe value and the importance of competitive intelligence should be.

The one I’m going to spend probably the greatest time on the third D. Now, I would venture a guess that somewhere today those of you on the call are sitting in a client site or you put an engagement off to the side for this time but through your conversations with your clients, you have been dealing with: defend. You’ve negotiated, you’ve talked, you have to go through the discussions because they do not feel that what you are charging is appropriate.

I would say that if you have not determined and you have not defined properly, defense becomes almost impossible. I came up with “the Groupon lie.” Something as simple as checking email and realize that every single day I get an email that is pointing out an opportunity for myself/my family could go do something, to experience something. Groupon is interesting because if you ever used it, they themselves have already assigned a value; the organizations that use Groupon have now forgot what the value is that they’re bringing. 78 percent of Groupon customers will not go back and do something.

Now, it brings me back to our airline. I travel a lot. The value of that first class seat to me is immeasurable. Some might say that I’m spoiled; I don’t like to share an armrest, I don’t like to be cramped. My wife on the other hand, would care less. Airlines do this now. It’s not called Groupon, but they give you the opportunity to upgrade for a minimal amount. Have I paid it? Absolutely. Why? Because it’s valuable to me as client. When they don’t give me that opportunity and they tell me that it’s going full fare I do not pay it. Why? Because you’ve missed my mark, you’ve missed my definition of value. I can tell you today because I’ve travelled sitting in the middle seat. I will be thinking about this Groupon lie. I will be thinking about this curtain.

We try to look at his, we price it out, they start to ask to break down our cost. As soon as our client start to ask us to go through line item by line item, a red flag should jump up and tell you that somewhere along determine and define, we missed something. Then we start to look at scope; they start hacking through the entire project.

Our clients are smart and what they’ll end up doing is they’ll take a project that is scoped out through number of pages and we’ll start the scope creep. They’ll start to add just a little bit more to phase one and they’ll charge them, there is no milestone. You get two phase two and you already recognize that you’ve given most of phase 2 to them, and then they’ll stop the project. Your hope is by doing this you are gaining their trust, you’re driving revenue and royalty; when in reality, what we’ve done is we have devalued our deliverable. So that next time, they come to ask you for an engagement, even if it is the same, even if it has more to it, they have set a price point in their mind that they are not willing to go over. We’ve all done it. I’ve done it within the last two months, so please do not in anyways think that I am preaching but I want people to learn from my mistakes and I’m ashamed to tell that I’ve made many. I’d like to tell you I’m perfect but I could give you my wife’s number and she will be more than happy to correct me.

I start to look at all of this, a couple checklists. I’m a big believer of checklist because once I started to come up with this, I realized I need to move from the subconscious to the conscious. I need to go through this checklist. Well, maybe it’s not in front of me every time, but I did mentally have to think about I need to know / what they need. I need to know its value and I need to align whatever deliverable is to the need of the clients. Once I determined, now I can start to move to defining because I have to define the value of that need. I have to avoid thinking in hourly rate; I need to avoid thinking in the cost breakdown, and I need to be truly diligent as I scope out the project. Then we get to defend, and if I’ve done all of the six steps properly, then I now that my pricing doesn’t need to be discounted. I don’t need to be afraid to walk away. There is such a thing as bad revenue and I need to make sure that this is not pricing just to get in the door for an opportunity.

So I leave you with one last example. It’s kind of hit all three Ds. So as a group, we were approached by a client. They came to us with a scope that we we’re fully comfortable with. We’ve done it in the past. We sat down. We exactly started to go through exactly what they need. We knew what the value meant, or so we thought. We then got to the point where we had bind out our deliverables. We had put the project in a nice pretty presentation. Getting ready to go in to the meeting, I sat in a two hour session prior to the one hour meeting on my topic. The very last page of my packet that I was about to hand out happen to be the pricing. Through this discussion, not mine but the one that I have the privilege to sit in, I started to hear different buying terms.

I started to hear different definitions and it dawned on me, as I was preparing for this, that luckily I had gone from subconscious to conscious. I had missed define – what they assigned value to. Very casually I sat there and I started to rip the last page out of every packet. I kind of slid them back underneath my notepad. Into my meeting, I handed out the packet. We walked through. I was able to use some of the verbiage that I just got done hearing. I was able to define their value together. When at the same time to answer that question that we all get – well how much does this all cost?

It has been determined that the project was going to be priced at $29,000. The next word that’s came out of my mouth was $94,000; they never blinked. They never hemmed; they didn’t haw. A week later when I was able to give them the pricing sheet and the contract, they sent the contract back to us with a signature and a red line in less than two hours. That is when it dawned on me: if you have defined, determined and defined properly, the defense was already in the discussion. Now you are getting paid what you have assigned a value to your outcomes and your worth.

Again, I appreciate the opportunity that Aurora has given me to share my little epiphany. At this point I think, Michel, I turn it over to you for questions.

Q&A SESSION

Michel: Thanks Mikey, what a great talk. I could have listened to this for another hour, no doubt. I have been in the industry for a good 15+ years now, I really think that we intelligence personnel need to turn upside down in terms of how we think about it. So you talked about talking to your stakeholders not about what you value it as, but are you talking about not talking to stakeholders in CI language anymore? And more talking about how you can solve their business problems? Because it seems like in the past, all we’ve cared about was making people understood the intelligence cycle, and how we go about it doing things. It’s that what you’re getting now?

Mikey: I think that it’s an excellent question and I will word it this way – that we’ve become little drones. We have our own clichés. We have our own way of speaking. When you flip the conversations and you are able to speak in the client’s language, you are actually more communicable to them because they will hear you – same message, different words means a lot.

For those of you, I said I’m in business intelligence. Business intelligence, it’s not really the exciting things that get you invited to parties. People are not wanting to sit there and talk about R-squared and run charts. If I know that’s my output, if I flip that conversation and start to talk about the outcome with my project, that is much more meaningful to customers than going in and try to explain the CI process.

Michel: This is not something that goes away overnight, Correct? To be able to go from $29,000 to $94,000?

Mikey: No, It doesn’t go away overnight. It is a complete mind shift and many of us have been doing this for years. It is a very conscious effort that gets honed through practice, making sure that we are going through the steps, making sure that we are changing the language. But Michel, I would tell you in that example that I used to wrap it up, the clients, all of our clients, know what we bring to the table. They believe they think what the value is; what they don’t know is how they can properly use it to drive to the outcome and that’s the value that they have not thought of. So when we start thinking and talking in terms of their outcome, $24,000 to $94,000 becomes very easy; it can start happening now. Because there are larger companies that are doing this that have understood and they go in the price, and they aren’t backing down and clients are paying it; that’s because they approached it speaking to their stakeholders differently.

Michel: So in terms of defend, you said don’t be afraid to walk away. What if you are dealing a clients where walking away is simply not an option?

Mikey: Yeah, we all have those and those are difficult because at that particular point, the client understands that they hold the power. It becomes a business decision that there are times that we know we’re going to go in, we have been put in our box, and for a number of reasons we don’t walk away. We all get together in happy hour and we complain about that call from the client, have a beverage, and wake up tomorrow morning and do it again. And you’re absolutely right that there are times that it’s not an option. I can’t answer for every organization, but that is a strategic business decision of an organization that has to be made consciously. It’s not just because I like this person, it’s not because we’ve been doing business with them forever. There are other reasons that happens, but it needs to be talked through, and at times, Michel, we’ve all done it. We may have that tough conversation with the client and it very well could be that we’ve been saying the same thing for years and years and years they’re not getting it, and the reason is we’re not talking to them – we’re talking at them.

Michel: You know Mikey, I think this topic that you bring up, first of all, we don’t see it talked about enough, if ever. I think that I may have seen it talked about once, five plus years ago, about value and the importance of competitive intelligence. The attendees really loved the theme of first class. As you considered the old saying in the airline, “secure your own mask before helping others,” do you think there is a theme in that statement for how intelligence professionals define the value in the work they do? Let alone how it proceeds with their stakeholders? Are we not valuing our work enough?

Mikey: We’re not and I think when you look at the determine phase, you have to know what value is; you have to look at that. To be quite candid, many of us have been doing this so long that to a certain degree, we kind of got beaten down. We have gone through and improperly determined, we have not properly defined, and we have just been brow-beaten in the defense area. So what ends up happening is because of that, maybe to a certain degree, our self-esteem has been beaten down. So we do not believe in our own value. I think that’s where the mind shift happens. And if you start thinking and I keep, when I talk to my team, this has been an ongoing message.

We still think in terms of our cost of service. We still think in terms of what time it’s going to take, what we are going to have to do. But we have not flipped the switch yet to understand that if you take all of the information that we’ve gathered, all of the data, and you apply it at our clients, we are bringing a lot more value to them that even they recognize simply because we are dealing in a lot of cases with mid-level managers, just below the C-suite. Individuals who might not understand the big picture, but from our perspective and what they’ve given us access to, we should be able to see how it would impact, and that in and of itself has huge value. It’s a different conversation than we are typically having today, because now I’m not just going to make them look good through this one project. Who are you evangelizing this information to within your organization and what problem did it solve? If I can start to make them look good to the individuals above them, now I’ve redefined value to my stakeholders – not just to the business outcomes, now I start to look like royalty. I am now viewed as their trusted adviser.

Michel: I’ve got a couple of questions in here from our few folks. I think some folks are maybe struggling with grasping, you know, this is an external consultant versus internal. I think it is totally applicable to internal intelligence practioners in developing the perceived value, not necessarily charging out people internally for. For internal intelligence practioners, affirm how did you approach, define, determine, and the value. So is this applicable internally as well?

Mikey: Whether you’re internal or external, there is a customer that the product is being built for, correct? So if that is the case, why wouldn’t you still determine that value? You would have to go to the definition step and you may have to defend it. So whether it’s internal or external, it’s the same process; I don’t personally see any difference.

Michel: I agree with you and you can think about cost of the project to funding for your internal function, so same thing.

So let’s see in here, keep your questions coming folks. Some are coming down the aisle just to collect some trash and now I to some more questions shortly. I might also give you a second bag of peanuts if everyone is nice to me. So our good friend Justin has a question. It might be a stupid question. Justin, none of your questions are stupid. In fact, we have an open seat for first class, if you would like to collect bags, Justin, and come on up. When a client ask you for a line item breakdown, how do you define whether client that is being fiscally prudent doing their diligence or looking to cut out project into places where they can scope creep you?

Mikey: You’re going to run into that with just about every client and I would say that first and foremost, all of them are being fiscally prudent because they want it as much as possible as little as possible. Keep that in mind, because we do it in our personal lives. We negotiate when possible, we try to get discount when applicable, but that is to me a tell-tale sign now that you go back to your define. You have not uncovered a need that particular person has in their mind’s eye. That’s warranting of a conversation, “what have we missed?” Where are they assigning value or not seeing the value on paper to what the business outcome are going to be. Everyone will try to continually go through. Again, this is a mind shift not just for us; this could be a complete mind shift for our customers and clients as well. We’ve been doing this so many times, over and over and over again, that when you hand in your scope, the first thing that they are told to do is to go back and renegotiate. What we’ve been doing and how you done it. So it’s a little bit of both and I do not say that it hurts to loop back, have the discussion, and go back in to the define conversation and try to uncover what is prompting that, long before we ever start to breakdown and start slashing, cutting, shifting and moving all of the pieces of the projects.

Michel: You might as well have answered Rufus John’s question as well. Rufus, if that didn’t answer your question, I know I didn’t ask the question, but I think Mikey just answered that for you. So if you think he hasn’t just let me know; I’ll ask it for you about using feedback at the end of a project.

Let’s take a concrete example for CI competitive monitoring. How do you value it internally? There is no value perception. If you ask the different services, are you ready to pay for every single one? The answer is no. Everyone says they need the information; this is a no value paradox. How do you solve that?

Mikey: That’s a deep question for a guy that does CI, but here’s what I would ask: how are they using it? Again, let’s loop this back to my answer to the first question. If they’re telling you they need it, first question I would ask, how are you using it? Because in the answer of how are you using it, would I not be able to define what they deem valuable? And now, if I know how they’re using it, we start to define value based on the outcome of their used case. So you say that there is no value, how do you know that if we don’t know how they’re using it? Again that is the loop and I will just touch on Rufus’ question of little bit that you gave him, Michel. There is nothing wrong with once you get done, getting feedback on a project. We all want it; that’s how we learn. If we miss something, we want to know; but sometimes in what is not said or not stated in a feedback, that in and of itself helps you define value for your next project. When you come back with another project, you have gathered more and more information, increasing your definition. It kind of put two and two into there. Hopefully, I did answer Rufus’ question.

Michel: That’s great; Rufus said yes. Let’s see here. Well folks, it looks like we’re going to be beginning our descent here shortly. For those of you in coach, I need to collect your drinks so please finish those up. First class, you can hang on to yours for a little bit. Looks like we’re going to shut our Wi-Fi off back there in the cabin.

Do you do research, CI etc., on the perspective client meeting before the meeting? Do you head into the meeting knowing what value means to them ahead of time, or do you leave it to chance?

Mikey: “Do you do research on your client before the meeting?” There’s an old saying that says “Chance comes to a prepared mind.” So if you were walking in a meeting with a client without knowing what their organization is doing, doing most internally in some cases as well as externally, I would say that chance probably is not going to hit you very hard. So the answer is a very simple yes, a lot of research, to make sure that you know as much, if not more, about the organization and the person you’re speaking with.

Michel: How do you get over the objections and questions with regards to pricing?

Mikey: Sometimes, you don’t right? We talk about it earlier. Sometimes, you are not be able to move off that, but the easiest way to get over that is again to flip the conversation. Get off of the price; that honestly, when we started to change our conversation last year Michel, our client relation changed. We changed our seat at the table with our clients. It is difficult at first. We could not move off of it, but through delivery above and beyond, staying with scope because there was that pushback, it does change the conversation; it makes it easier. Do I have all the answers to say that you’re going to walk into your clients this afternoon and tomorrow and be able to go Wonder Woman on them with the bracelet and get rid all of their objections? Absolutely not. But would I tell you this, if you continue to practice and you’re sitting in front of your client and you’re recognizing it’s not about the price, it’s about value – your value, not mine – it does make it a hell of a lot easier to get over the objections when possible.

Mikey: In what you’re doing Mikey, are you at the point now where you tend to go out more and find the stakeholders who know what that value is? Are you at that point or are you still having to take what comes to you?

Mikey: Right now, I would that it’s probably 50/50. We have clients that are coming to us based on what we built, what they heard, word of mouth. I very seldom do calls. I’m not actively speaking. Sometime, they are former clients. And this is where the practice really comes in, because those projects that you scoped out and priced last week, last month, where the contracts are already signed, obviously you can’t go back and change those. When you go back to the same client next month or the following month, then you start to practice and you’ll be able to see if you have made the right determination, if you have defined it correctly. Then when you get to that defense phase, start to use the feedback loop back into define, change the conversation, believe in your own value, and don’t immediately back away from what you’re bringing to the table.

Michel: Well, ladies and gentlemen, this, as Mikey said, I like how you put it Mikey, this is a mind shift and we’ve reached our final descent time and we’re going to land this bird. We will be landing for Reconverge next week. If what you’ve heard today is challenges that you face, I highly suggest that next year, or if you can even make it next week, that you join the rest of the people there, trying to get over those challenges. We’ll look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks when we pick up another good topic then.

Mikey, thanks once again. Keep pushing out there with this topic. I think it’s like you said – it’s a mind shift and I believe it’s a game changer for our industry.

Mikey: Thank you Michel. You did a great job pilot.

  

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