Many people often confuse them for the same, but they are different. In this episode, Doug C. Brown speaks with strategic business coach and the CEO of Eckfeldt & Associates, Bruce Eckfeldt. Doug and Bruce discuss leveraging strategic plans, how to transition from a founder to a CEO, the mindset differences between founders and CEOs, and much more.
Bruce Eckfeldt is a consultant, coach, author, and speaker on organizational development and performance management. Originally an architect, he was a pioneer in the use of computer-aided design and 3D modeling. Today, Bruce uses his experience as an entrepreneur and Inc. 500 CEO to help high-growth companies scale more quickly with less drama. He is an expert in business and operational growth strategy, talent planning, performance coaching, and using Lean/Agile to achieve operational excellence.
Visit his website: www.eckfeldt.com
We’re going to talk about strategy versus tactics and transitioning from a founder’s position to a founder-CEO strategy. We’re also going to talk about pricing strategy versus just pricing and what you do in all three areas. Strategy is the key before you start implementing tactics. Why do I say that? Strategy creates leverage because it gives you the opportunity to say, “This is what we’re going to be great at, and this is what we’re not going to focus on.”
Many people are focused on way too many things. They don’t have the leverage in their business. Therefore, they’re building a business on their back. They can build a business on your back for many reasons, but strategy is where it all starts from what I know. We have an expert. His name is Bruce Eckfeldt.
Bruce calls himself a strategic coach. I call him a strategic expert. He’s very well-spoken and knows this stuff cold. Let’s go to the interview. We’ll talk to Bruce. Get your paper and pen out. Do all that good stuff. Get your digital notepad or whatever. If you’re driving, don’t do that, please, but take copious notes here. You’re going to learn something great here.
Bruce, welcome to the show. Thanks so much for being here.
Thanks, Doug. It’s a pleasure.
For those of you who don’t know Bruce, he’s a strategic coach. Why don’t you tell people what you do?
I was originally an architect, but I got into software. I founded a tech company. I went through the whole founder-CEO process and sold my company. For the last couple of years, I’ve been focused on helping founder-CEOs and their leadership teams figure out how are they going to differentiate themselves in the market, and then how we’re going to grow and scale the business. Half my job is business model, then half my job is therapy. It’s working with these teams on how to execute that.
That’s important you gave that distinction. A lot of people call themselves a coach, but they’ve never owned a company. You’ve been there, done it, sold it, moved on, and decided to help people be a strategist as well as a therapist in some capacity.
In all of the consulting and coaching I’ve done, I’ve never found a business problem to be a business problem. It’s always a personal issue that manifests into a business problem. We’re going to talk a lot about strategy in this episode. Let’s start from the beginning. What’s the difference between strategy and tactics?
I think of strategy as being a set of specific choices that we are going to make about how we choose to be in the market. Strategy is about how I focus on a particular set of attributes. Those are particular things that I’m going to be excellent at in the market in terms of what customers are looking for. More importantly, what is all the things I’m willing to suck at? That’s if you use a Francis Fry approach to this.
If you look at the blue ocean strategy or white space analysis process, it is a set of choices. The reason that I frame it as a set of choices is that it’s a set of choices that you have to make as an organization that then translates down into all of your operational decisions. The strategy is the choices we’re making about how we’re going to choose to be in the market. Tactics are the things that I do operationally to own that position. If you look at the operational capacity or activity fit maps, they’re all describing the things that we excel at operationally that are going to own that positioning.
When I work with companies, it’s, “Who’s my core customer? What do the competitors look like?” I want to look for white space. Once I figure out that white space, I then want to figure out, “What are the operational capacities and operational capabilities that we need to develop to own that?” We roadmap that over time. What I do in terms of implementation of strategy is work with teams on a quarterly basis to put together priorities, objectives, and accountability for executing on that so we can make that true.
When it comes to tactics, tactics are the deployment side of the process and strategy is what are the outcomes that we want.
It’s what’s the position we want to own.
Should we have a strategic outcome for every tactic?
I would say your tactics should be traceable to some kind of strategic decision that you’ve made. It’s some choice that you’ve made around, “We’re going to be excellent at a handful of these things and choosing to not have to be excellent at these things. We’re willing to suck at these other things,” or at least be whatever the minimal market requirement is for those attributes. Our tactics or the choices we make in terms of what we’re going to implement on a quarter-by-quarter basis should trace up to those decisions of what we’re going to do and what we’re not going to do.
You brought up a good point here. I’m going to use your words. What are we willing to suck at? Is what we are willing not to be proficient or good at as important or equally important as those things we are looking to be good at when it comes to strategy?
I would say they’re certainly the hardest ones. If you’re a billion-dollar company, we can have a very different conversation about where you’re going to deploy resources and how you’re going to enter a market. For an earlier-stage growth company, if you’re talking about a couple of million or a couple of tens of millions of revenue, you have limited resources, time, and energy to be able to think and execute strategically. You have to make some choices. You want to identify the 2 or 3 things that you’re going to be known for or you’re going to excel at and be exceptional at. You need to make a conscious decision.
This is the hardest part, particularly for founder-CEOs. Chasing shiny objects is something they’re good at, but oftentimes, that is where you lose your strategic focus. You get watered down strategically because you’re trying to do too many things. You’re consciously and deliberately saying, “We are going to do only the minimum requirement for the market for these things.”
Let’s say warranty. We may decide warranty is not something we are going to try to compete on, so we’re going to provide whatever the minimum warranty is that we need to have to be able to play in this market. We’re not going to try to differentiate ourselves on warranty. What that does by making that choice and by consciously saying, “We are only going to meet the minimum requirement for the market,” I then free up time, energy, resources, and capital that I can then redeploy to those handfuls of things that I want to be exceptional at.
Should those handfuls be only 2 or 3 things? The reason I ask is that when I’ve worked with CEOs who can be shiny object syndrome types, which is quite frankly more than half, they can come up with 2 or 3 things in an hour. It feels empty. Crickets are chirping and they want to fill the void with 2 or 3 more other things and then so on. Should it only be a limited number of things? We can talk about whether you transitioning from a founder to founder-CEO, but is there a hard, fast rule?
It somewhat depends on what we call a strategy canvas. When you do the analysis of the attributes of the market, what are the attributes that customers use to make a buying decision? What are the criteria that they use to make a buying decision? It’s then looking at the competitive landscape and what options they have. Sometimes, it’s obvious. Sometimes, we do that map and it’s clear. We’re like, “There are 2 or 3 things that no one is owning in this market that if we can put our wood behind those arrows, we’re going to differentiate ourselves.”
Sometimes, it’s harder. Sometimes, there’s no clear single one and we’re going to look at combinations of one or we have to educate the market a little bit and figure out how to grow 1 or 2 of these things. The more focused you can be, the easier it is going to be in terms of operational execution. It means that you can decide what are the policies, procedures, capabilities, IP, and technology.
The things that I need to build, it’s going to be much easier to do if I have 2 or 3 things rather than 5 or 6 things. It’s also going to help with communication throughout your organization. I always talk about the hardest part about strategy is communicating it. If you’re trying to do too many things, it means that all your people inside the company are going to get very confused. At the end of the day, they’re the ones that are executing strategy. You can sit in a conference room as a senior leadership team and come up with all the ideas, documents, and diagrams you want, but it’s the people at the front lines that are ultimately going to make decisions on what customers experience. If you can’t easily communicate that, it’s going to be hard.
Generally, I like to see 2 or 3. If I see more than that, it means that we haven’t done the analysis or we haven’t gathered the information that we need to make that decision or there’s something blocking our ability to be decisive at that moment. Sometimes, that’s personality or alignment on the team. There are lots of other factors that come to play, but my goal is 2 or 3.
I always ask CEOs when they start getting this shiny object thing going, “How many people did you date at one time? Have you ever tried to date 6, 7, 8, 10, or 12 people at once?” They get it at that point. It’s like, “You better have all the same names because you’re going to mess up a conversation. I guarantee it.”
We’re speaking with Mr. Bruce Eckfeldt. The company is Eckfeldt.com. Here, we have companies of all shapes and sizes from people who are starting to people who should be starting because they never did to people who are billion-dollar corporations. Let’s talk about founder to founder-CEO strategy when it relates to these strategic outcomes.
I’m a new guy in business. I might, like yourself or myself, have had companies in the past, but I’m going to restart. I’m starting new. Maybe it’s a new industry. What should I be looking for in the terms of strategy so I can transition from the founder? We’ll get to the founder-CEO strategy, but right in the beginning, is it the same thing that we talked about or is it something I should be looking at a different model, system, or something like that?
This is an important transition that I end up working a lot with in terms of leaders inside companies. It is this transition from founder to CEO. With the founder, I think of it as being a startup. I’ve got an idea. Maybe I’ve got the first couple of clients. As founders, we’re focused on getting something off the ground. We’re like, “How do I get some kind of solution or some kind of product or service to market? How do I get customers, prove that it’s creating value, and show that I can make a profit on it and that I can deliver it profitably?”
Founders are focused on execution. They’re like, “How do I make this work?” They’re focused on results around chasing cash. They’re like, “I want to get cash into the business. That’s how I’m going to create fuel for growth. I’m managing people. I’ve got people that I’m directing. I’m telling them what to do and how to do it. I’m creating culture and I’m focused on sales.” It’s very much about cashflow. Those are the areas of focus or the things that founders concern themselves with.
As you move into a CEO role, what you’re talking about is going from you leading the company to you building a team to lead the company. In that transition, all of those things need to shift. A lot of the time, I find when companies are stuck or particularly leaders are stuck is they haven’t successfully moved through those into a CEO role. This doesn’t mean you need to move from them all at the same time, but usually, if something is hung up, it means that one of those transitions is not happening.
From an area of focus, I find founders are focused on execution. They’re like, “How do we run the business? How do we get things delivered?” CEOs are focused on strategy. They’re like “How do we differentiate and position ourselves in the market?” In terms of the things that they’re trying to create an impact around, founders are focused on results. They’re like, “I want to generate.” CEOs are focused on systems. They’re like, “How do I systematize what I’m doing? How do I create repeatable, scalable processes inside the company?”
This is a big one. Founders tend to manage. They want to be like, “This is what you should do. You’re in charge of this project. You’re in charge of this part of the company. Do this thing.” They’re directive. CEOs are very much focused on leading. They’re like “How do we create leadership capacity?” It’s not about telling people what to do. It’s, “How do I create capacity inside the organization so we can grow and scale from a leadership point of view?”
A lot of founders are great at selling. They’re in there closing deals. They’re meeting with clients. They’re coming up with terms. They’re innovating on engagements. CEOs are focused on marketing. It’s like, “How do we communicate, identify segments, and meet those segments?” If I see a CEO in a sales meeting, something’s gone wrong. They should be focused on, “How do we market and position these services, not how do we sell this particular deal?”
These transitions, there are a lot of these. It doesn’t necessarily happen overnight. They’re things that can happen over the course of several quarters, maybe in several years depending on your growth process and how quickly you’re growing. These are big ones. Honestly, not every leader makes that switch.
I have a lot of conversations with the leaders I work with where they’re doing a lot of founder stuff. We have to have a conversation. It’s like “Do you want to do the CEO stuff?” They may not. We may decide that it is someone else, or we should bring someone for the CEO role. Let them be the technical product expert, product development or the CTO depending on what they’re good at and what they want to do. Having a meaningful conversation around that can be important. If we don’t have that conversation and they keep trying to shoehorn themselves into that CEO role and don’t want it, that’s going to be a problem. Figuring that out is important early for a company.
When I see founder and CEO on a business card, I should be going, “Hey.”
Usually, the way I look at it is you were the founder and now you’re the CEO. If you’re still trying to do both, that’s a problem.
I 100% agree with you. I was having a conversation with somebody I’d known for years. It’s not a huge company. They’re doing about $4 million a year. I helped them when they were $3.5 million. They went to $4 million in a year. They disengaged from the process. They wanted to run it on their own. It’s been a couple of years and they’re still at $4 million. It wasn’t all the systems we set up. What happened was the founder went back to the founder’s thought process and kept doing what the founder was doing.
I have a question for you because a lot of founders have this, “No one can do it better than I can.” Not to have alliteration, but founders feel, from what I’ve found, that stops them from growing in many capacities because they want control over everything. They’re being apparent in the whole process. If they’re like in that process, how do they identify if they want to be a founder or a CEO? The second part of the question is, how do they let go? It’s their baby. They labored over years to get it to wherever it is.
It is a super common problem. The fact is they’re right. As founders, you can do most of those things better than anyone else. It’s not a question of capability. It’s a question of capacity. It’s that if you keep doing it, you’re only going to get so big because you only have so much time and energy. We have to break that thinking of, “I’m only going to hand it off. If someone else can do it as well as I can, then it will never work.” You have to give up this idea that it has to be done that way. You’re going to have to accept at least a different way of doing things. You may have to accept it’s not done as well, but that’s the only way you’re going to grow and scale. That’s one mindset thing that can shift in terms of figuring out whether they want that role.
I find the best question is where do they want to go? What do they want? If there’s something about a larger company that is important and meaningful for them, that is something we can use to start driving the change process. If you look at organizational change or individual change, it’s always a function of, “If I can get the reward, the outcome to be worth the pain I have to suffer to go through the change, I will make it.” If they’re not making the change, it either means that the reward is not great enough.
We haven’t created a situation where they have enough desire for the outcome that a bigger company is going to get them, or we have to reduce the pain. We have to reduce the perceived pain that they’re going to have to go through to make that change. Either it’s, “I’m afraid of giving something up,” or, “I’m not convinced that it’s going to be that great on the other side.”
We’ve got to go through that process of how we amp up the benefits of change and how we reduce the friction or the fear of change. If we can’t do those, then honestly, sometimes, we say, “Let’s keep the company the way it is. Let’s optimize this thing. We’ll figure out a couple of products that you can double down on, make $750,000 to $1 million a year, and work 30 hours a week.” That’s not a bad lifestyle. That’s fine and respectable. Not every business and not every founder should grow their company and move into a CEO role. We have to have that conversation.
It’s about the end in mind. It’s like the old Stephen Covey. What’s the truth? We want to get to the truth and then figure out, “If we got to the truth then is that good enough?” I found a lot of people can’t admit what truth is.
It’s hard because there is pressure. It’s like, “You should grow your company,” or they’re part of YPO, EO, or something, so they’re surrounded by all these folks that are growing their companies, scaling, and selling. There can be a lot of peer pressure or external motivators. Until we find an internal and intrinsic motivator that’s going to drive the growth of the company, it’s going to be hard. Those extrinsic motivations fall apart pretty quickly once you run into challenges.
It’s about being happy when it comes down to it on a daily basis.
I always have a hard time with happy. I always say engaged. Sometimes, the growth process is quite challenging. You will have difficulties, but sometimes, those difficulties are what drive engagement. I find that most successful CEOs, so people that have grown the company from the founder stage into the CEO stage to tens of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars onto exits, their real focus is engagement. How do they use the growth part of the company to engage their skills, capabilities, learning, and self-actualization? If it’s juicing them in that way, I’ll see success.
Sometimes, they’re happy. I’m not saying that they’re not going to be happy, but being happier doesn’t always do it right. I find most of these people are like, “I don’t want to be happy. I want to be fulfilled and challenged. I want to see growth. I want to get to the next level and expand.” That is the driving motivation in most of those cases.
It’s growth and contribution to their own self-impact.
It’s an impact on the world and themselves. It could be multiple things, but I try to key into that stuff.
I’m the founder. I got my company to $30 million. I don’t want to be the CEO. How do I let go safely?
One thing I always do is separate ownership from management. If you are founder-CEO, or you’re the owner and vast majority shareholder, I separate out, “As the owner, you have certain rights and obligations that we need to keep in place.” Usually, what we do is we set up some board or some quasi-board process that says, “As an owner, you’re going to be part of a process where executive management is going to report to you in terms of financials, strategy, and KPIs. As the owner, to show you, this is what we’re doing with your asset. This is how we’re using resources. This is how we’re growing the asset that we have.”
You, as the owner, are going to give feedback, approve, and give management authority to run the company. We can also then put you back into the company in an executive role. That’s where we’re looking at what you love to do, where you get animated, and where you get engaged. It might be sales. You may have a founder who loves to sell. You’re going to either be head of sales or maybe you’re going to be our lead salesperson. We’re going to hire a head of sales, but that’s what you’re going to do on the management side of things.
Once a month, every other week, or whatever our cycle is, the CEO is going to report to you as the owner to explain what we are doing with assets, what we are doing with resources, what the strategic plan is, and what are the KPIs we’re going to hit. You still have your ownership role, and then you have a management role. We separate those out. I find that’s the easiest way to bifurcate that situation where you’ve got an owner or a founder that’s also participating in the management role.
It’s interesting. I know a CEO of a $250 million company where the founder is their lead salesperson. It is what he loves to do. He sits down on the floor. He’s talking to the people and the other salespeople. They’re like, “We can’t do this. We can’t do it.” He’s like, “Shut up. I’m doing it.” We’re speaking with Mr. Bruce Eckfeldt. You’re a strategic expert in strategy. We are speaking about strategy versus tactics and going from transitioning from a founder to a founder-CEO strategy.
I get this question a lot, and I thought you would be the guy to ask. Pricing versus pricing strategy, if you don’t mind sharing your wisdom on this. A lot of times, people are looking at pricing. I find many times, they’ve underpriced themselves in their own market. How does one come up with a pricing strategy versus throwing a price out there?
There are a couple of things about this. The first problem or mistake most companies make is they take a cost approach to it. They look at the cost of the service or the product they’re developing, and then they add 10%, 20%, 50%, or whatever they think is a reasonable margin. The fundamental problem there is that customers don’t care. They don’t care what it costs you. What customers fundamentally care about is what the value is that you create.
I’m always looking at how well a company can understand how its product or service creates value for the customer. That’s step one for pricing meaning, what do they do with this thing? If they didn’t have this product or service, what would a customer not get? What additional cost would they incur? That should help us figure out what our value-based pricing approach should be. That’s step one.
Step two is I need to understand what the market bear is. That means if I haven’t done a very good job of strategy and I’m more commoditized, my product or service is going to be reasonably comparable to other things in the market. Therefore, my pricing needs to be reasonably comparable to the market. If I provide something that is indistinguishable from three other people and they’re selling it for $20,000, it’s tough for me to sell it for $40,000. There’s no basis for justification. I need to figure it out.
That’s why I tend to focus on strategy. I want to understand how we are going to differentiate in the market. That’s because once we differentiate in the market, I then make it difficult for customers to compare me to other products or services. If we’re the only company that provides a combination of these three things, if I’ve done my segmentation right and I’m going after the right customers and selling to the right prospects, those prospects that care about those things don’t have a choice.
If they want these three things, then I’m the only person in the market. If I’m only the option in the market that has these three things, I can premium price my products to service. Even if everyone else is charging $20,000, I can still charge $40,000 because no one else has these other 2 or 3 things that I have. The things that I’m looking for are, do I understand what value is? Have I created a differentiated offering? If those two things are done well, that means I can work in a premium price category.
There, I keep increasing my prices until people start crying out there or until I stop getting sales. If I’m not getting a no every 7th, 8th, or 9th sale, it means I need to increase. If people are saying yes to my price and to my overall offer or package very quickly on a consistent basis, I’m probably not high enough. I probably need to increase it by 10%.
That makes a lot of sense. If we look at Apple or Tesla, I know they’re taking a few.
Apple is a great one. If you look at Apple and how much of the market share they have from a handset marketplace point of view, I don’t know the numbers, but a few years ago, it was somewhere around 20% or 25% maybe of the overall handset. If you look at their profit share, there’s something like 70% to 80% of the profit of the market. They’re only selling 20% of the handsets, but they’re making 80% to 90% of the profit that’s available on the market. That means these other jokers are out there. 80% of the market is chasing 20% of the profit out there. I’d much rather be 20% of the market and make 80% of the profit. It’s the other way around.
With value, what does it mean to the customer? What’s the outcome? That tangible outcome or intangible outcome that they want to either feel inside or have externally is valuable. What are they getting out of this that they deem valuable? How are we in the market unique in that value proposition so that they understand what that differentiation is?
Let’s take automobiles for example. I’ve traveled a lot, so I’ve rented a lot of vehicles. I would go get luxury vehicles, premium vehicles, or whatever. I would also get regular run-of-the-mill vehicles. I can confidently say that if I jump into a certain Chevy model, Malibu, or the next level up and jump into a Volvo or a Lexus, there’s not a whole heck of a lot of differentiation in the riding experience, but the price tags are very different.
All you auto people online, please don’t send me hate mail. There’s Cadillac and Mercedes. I jumped into a guy’s Mercedes. He bought it for $130,000. I’m like, “It’s all plastic.” When we look at a Mercedes, though, it carries a brand and a connotation of a brand. If you have a Mercedes, you are doing quite well. That’s differentiation in a lot of ways.
You’re hitting on the fact that differentiation is more than rational, logical, measurable, and technical differences. It is about what’s perceived. It’s about brand attributes. These are all things that go into a strategic canvas. It’s understanding what people want. People want to be associated with certain things or be associated with certain brand attributes or brand values. These are all things that can go into this process.
A great one I love is Starbucks. Starbucks has done a great job of selling shitty coffee. Technically, it’s not very good coffee, but they have dominated the market. It’s because of a whole bunch of other things that if what you care about is technically good coffee, you don’t go to Starbucks. The fact is that the consumers out there are more than that. It’s about convenience, the experience of the store, the qualities of the store, and walking down the street with your Starbucks mug. It’s all these things that go into that process. Good strategic planning uncovers all the different facets that go into a buyer’s decision-making process or perception of the decision-making process.
It’s interesting you’re bringing up coffee. I’m here in the Boston area. Our opinions are our opinions. They’re not the expressed opinions of our company, so keep your lawyers away. We have people who get in fights over how good Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee is. There are some people who say it’s trash and will argue against the cup of coffee.
Others will say you are anti-American if you don’t like Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee. That is the power of value in play. It doesn’t have to be on a product. It could be a feeling about anything. Sports games, for example. I love hockey. I watch hockey and see some of these people coming in dawned in creative clothes to support their teams.
Some permanently mark their bodies to align themselves with the team.
They pay outrageous ticket prices to be there in some capacity. But some people don’t consider it outrageous, they consider that value. I’ve had people boast about, “I spent $600 on a ticket. I went to see Taylor Swift and it cost me $10,000,” or whatever it was. There are other people that will not. The reason I want to bring this up and wanted to get your feedback before we conclude here is perception is in the eye of the beholder, is it not?
Absolutely. That’s what I said. You have to define your core customer. You have to start with, “Who do I want to do business with?” If you’re trying to do business with everyone, you’ve watered down your entire strategic planning process. You have to take some time to figure out, “Who do we want to be doing business with?” That’s because that is where you can then get a specific understanding of what they care about, what they want to buy, and how they make their decision.
A good strategic planning process will create a situation in which you’ve got a handful of raving fans or a handful of people who are dying to do business with you to buy your product or service. You’re going to have a whole bunch of people that hate you. That’s good. You want that barbell. You want to create a whole bunch of people that want to be with you, and you want to create a situation where a whole bunch of people don’t. The better you do, the helps the sales process because you have the ability to very quickly filter and qualify your leads early.
One of the classic things I see is you have a company that has leads going too far down the sales process. They’re chewing up time, energy, and resources when they should have gotten qualified out of the process early in the funnel so they can create and focus their time, energy, and resources on a fewer set of leads and move them through to the sale.
If we want high close rates, that is exactly how to do it. There’s a difference between conversion and close rate. We’ll do a whole new segment on that one. Bruce, thank you so much for being here. It’s been awesome. I appreciate it. How do people find you? I gave you a website, but what if they want to know more about Bruce and want to contact you? I’m sure you’ve spun some heads around while people were reading this.
Eckfeldt.com is my website. Bruce@Eckfeldt.com is the email address. I have a series of podcasts that I run. You can check those out. I also write for Inc. You’ll see all sorts of Inc. articles out there that I’ve written for the years. You can check them out there. Get in touch with me. I’m happy to debate. I love talking about this stuff, so look me up and let’s have a conversation.
Once again, Bruce Eckfeldt, thank you for being here.
Thanks, Doug. Take care.
What are the 2 to 3 outcomes that you want for your company strategically? In every interaction that goes on, you can break this down from interaction to interaction. What do the buyers want? When you match up those two criteria, you’ll see magical things happen in your company. I’m going to ask you. In fact, get a piece of paper and a pen. Write it down. What are the 2 or 3 things that you want? Then go test them. Find out if that’s what you want your clientele to get from you. Is that what they want from you? If those two match up, it’s magical. You have a lot of great stuff going on.
When you are starting this process of strategy, especially in the beginning, keep it simple. Have 2 or 3 things. What you’ll find as you go along is those 2 or 3 things will build upon themselves, then you’ll have 2 or 3 things more. If it ever starts to get out from underneath your ability to manage that, look back at those things again. In other words, you’ll see some overlapping themes. If you have ten strategic outcomes for the company, what you’re going to find is most likely, those 10 will condense down into 3 or 4. What you’ve done is repeat the pattern and called it something different. Instead of red, it’s royal red, but it’s still red. You can bring it together in most cases.
If you are the founder, remember, your job is to create the strategy. If you are the CEO, your major job is to create the strategy. You want to create leverage in the process. The strategy will give you the focus to say yes to things and no to things as well as being able to leverage it because you’ll know where to put your time, money, and resources into.
When it comes to pricing, because we talked about pricing strategy, there is value and differentiation. The value perception of the end buyer is what value really is. What do they get? What do they feel? What do they want? What are they coming there for? It’s probably not a product or a service, in most cases. It’s what the outcome of that product or service will give you. With the differentiation around that, you have to or you must differentiate around that if you want to get premium pricing for your value. That is the key.
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If you are looking to get yourself into the top 1% of sellers or your people into the top 1% of sellers, no matter where they are in the spectrum, reach out to me directly at Doug@CEOSalesStrategies.com or @DougBrown123. That is my LinkedIn. As always, go out and sell something, please. Make people happy.
Remember, selling in sales transforms the world. Anything that you can look around or touch, nothing happened without somebody selling it to someone else. There’s a process for doing this. When you play win-win, that means you win and they win. It is a great relationship and opportunity for both of you. If you’re helping people with a problem to resolve it, you’re helping people with an opportunity to claim it. Until next time, to your success.
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