14 April 2006

Selling against the status quo

For many businesses, the client value proposition is difficult to build because the client doesn't understand the costs of the status quo. That can make it difficult to build a strong Business Case for the alternative.

This week we had classic example. A potential client came to us and asked for help. They recognised that what they had done so far had not achieved their objectives. We talked about what we would do differently and set out the costs - we included examples of what we had done for others. Amazingly, having gone through the intellectual acceptance that the status quo was unacceptable they have decided not to change.

It might be possible to go back and reopen the debate about the costs and risks of both approaches but it could drag on. We have decided to draw a line under it and move on to other opportunities. We review our win/loss ratio periodically and assess what the learning points are so that we can continue to improve our success rate, but it is always important to do that with clear, cool thinking - not the day after the client has said no.

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