Richard Bloss looks at the challenges companies face when bringing their products to market – and
keeping them there.
It’s Valentines Day and I frankly speaking – am caught. I so remember the time I flew in some
years ago from Amsterdam, the flower capital of the world, with a bunch of tulips for my wife, and
my 4yr old daughter answered the door.
“Oh Daddy…. Flowers!”
So here we are. I now have to do in future a small gift for my wife. And a small gift for my
daughter. Except that my wife says…
“Honey, it’s not that I don’t appreciate the gift but… I would have appreciated it even more if you
had put the trash out last night as I asked.”
Which raises the question; At what point does consumerism, and the sales process, actually reach
the end of its relevance? Do we need a sales process, at all? And if “social media” is already
proving to be not the answer for so many companies, then is it time to get back to basics and ask;
what does my prospect really respect and want from me – that will show that a/ I am listening, and
b/ therefore, I am serious?
Or maybe we are alas not listening at all. Too many companies develop a technology, invent a
solution, get lucky with a casual conversation – that persuades them to raise finance from equally
naive and optimistic investors, that relies on a nicely put together Presentation that describes
some Eldorado of a market that, when it comes to the acid test of sales, just alas does not exist.
The phrase “one swallow does not make a Summer” comes to mind. And the best one of all…”
76% of all statistics are made up on the spur of the moment” I do love that one.
And why is this relevant for you and I as PACT Members? Because the above scenario, describes
what most start-ups, most entrepreneurs, do. We listen to ourselves. We do not listen to anybody
else. We “know!”
Er… no we don’t.
We simply “think we do”.
For some years, we at CRtP have come to the conclusion that finally tuned “sales arguments”;
nicely balanced commercial plans – don’t cut it in the real world when you bring products in reality
First, it is highly likely that you will not be aware of hidden aspects that are relevant but you never
considered because you had never talked to your customer. And second, we inflate the value of
our work and therefore our perceived value, because indeed we may well have created something
that will indeed save the planet.
It is just unfortunate that nobody else has cottoned on.
So, what’s the answer?
The answer is a back to basics, where we allow a consultation process as part of our initial
financing, where we disregard our preconceptions of monetary value and listen to what a broad
church of prospects tell us, is what they are prepared to pay. It is totally true that revenues does
not equal business, i.e., hundreds of clicks on your website do indeed show a “commercial value”
But “website clicks” do not pay your mortgage of kids school fees. For most of us, we live in a real
world, where our business success is decided by a simple formula of Charles Dickens which is; “
are we earning more money, or likely to earn more money – than the money we spend”.
Monetization is simply thus; we talk to our customer. We find out what they want, and what they
are prepared to pay. And then we know.
Richard Bloss is CEO of the CRt Partnership. He can be contacted at: email@example.com