My Notes on “Indispensable” by Joe Calloway:
Stake out your turf and master it
- Eg 3 pizza restaurants lined up on the same street: One with huge sign that screamed “Best Pizza in the State”, the next “Best Pizza in the City”, the next with a very small sign “Best Pizza on the block”.
- Your turf may be a product category or an area of expertise.
- The goal is to become that default choice in the minds of your customers.
- Get them to act on instinct. Cause tunnel vision, stop them thinking.
- Today’s customers place high value on dependability and consistency of performance
- Many customers don’t have the time, patience, or money to waste on any company that can’t get it right the first time
- Focus on one thing. Master the category. Become a category of one to your customers. Ask:
- What do we do best?
- What do we love to do?
- What do our customers value?
- A classic mistake in business is to go after more customers by expanding your product or service offerings too far. Before you start to think outside the box, take care of what’s inside the box. Master the basics before you spend money, time and energy on innovation.
- Before diversifying to add products and services to develop new business, master the product and service you already offer. Getting better at your core will provide you with a much greater return in new customers and increased business with existing customers.
- You can be great at something you absolutely adore doing, but if nobody is willing to pay you for it, what you’ve got is a hobby, not a business
Context for employees
- Create a context for employees so they can execute to the best of the ability in context. Help them see the link between what they do day in, day out, and how the company is trying to change the future through her and her contributions. That creates a powerful force to be reckoned with.
- Tell them they cannot fail. Empower them to take risks, try new approaches, find their own way. It is so encouraging to work for someone who truly believes in you and supports your decisions
Six New Basics
- Say “why not” continuously.
- “Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought”
- The restaurant boss who thinks it’s his job first and foremost to make his employees job the best they have every had
- Why not use products and services for which you’ve always charged to invite customers into a much more profitable relationship based on higher margin sales? This provides indispensable service that locks them in (only a very small number of customers take advantage)
- Get back inside the box.
- Instead of saying “let’s be different”, say “let’s be really good at what we do first, then we can be different.” All the differentiation in the world will be wasted unless you have mastered your core business
- Do clients come to you for advice on things that are outside my range of services? They must trust your judgement
- What other businesses in your market are complementary? Give your product or service away through them. Generate interest for them and new customers for yourself. Who else do your customers do business with?
- Selling is dead
- The idea of talking someone into buying your product is dead. It’s cumbersome and inefficient.
- Get to know your prospects business inside out. It’s not selling, it’s about people buying.
- Find out what your clients objectives are, and offer a product that helps them meet those objectives
The 5 Drivers of behaviours that result in becoming indispensable
- Create and sustain momentum (Decide. Take the next step, then the next, then the next)
- Develop habitual dependability
- Continuous connection
- Big picture outcome
- Engage, enchant and enthrall
- When you create an indispensable business, you create hundreds or thousands of walking commercials – infinitely more powerful than a full-page ad
- Create value, then give it away. If you have good stuff, people want more. Charge them for the high end.
- Give your best effort everytime. It might be the 100th mortgage of the week, but it’s my only mortgage in the world
- Be willing to be wrong. Mistakes always give you information.
- Wake up and smell the personalisation. It’s better to initiate one hundred incredibly personalised marketing efforts rather than one thousand “one-size-fits-all” version.
- Stay in front of customers and prospects with something that they can learn from, that is valuable. When they are ready to buy, you are right there staring them in the face
- Don’t just claim in some ad or mission statement that you exceed my expectations. Make me say “Wow. I never would have expected that.”
- Become one less thing to worry about. Provide consistent performance, dependability. Instil great confidence that issues will be resolved when they are handed to you. Make their lives easier.
- To do: Some up what you do for your customers in six words or less is more powerful than any 3 paragraph mission statement
- Look at other indispensable businesses and look beyond the differences to figure out what your version of what they do is.