It feels safer to offer our products to a broad market. To spread the risk. To NOT put all our eggs into one basket.
But what we end up doing is dumbing down our best value propositions. We start to look like our competitors. We become commoditized. In customer’s eyes, price becomes the main selection criteria because there is not another point of comparison.
But our quality is better, you say. We have better people. Which all might be true, but all this gives you is permission to play.
Specialists–which requires focus—earn the right to earn more than generalists. And being a specialist means saying no to customers or markets that we are not uniquely positioned to serve better than anyone else. Saying no helps you focus.
Companies with above industry average margins have insane focus on what they can do better than anyone else. And then they continuously get better at it.
- Do an 80/20 analysis on your customers and your products/services.
- Brainstorm with your leadership team on what it might look like if you narrowly focused on a customer or product category. Ask:
- What would we do differently?
- How would we change how we market?
- What new products and services might we offer?
- How would our pricing change?
- What new sales channels might we use?
- Then go test your team’s hypotheses in the market. (Send me a note and I’ll show you how.)
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