Question: What’s the #1 factor that separates top performers from average performers? Everything I’ve seen inside the most successful firms in America says that the answer is Superior Preparation!
Preparation involves 2 things:
- Anticipate the future
Strategies that ANTICIPATE the customer’s future needs are much more predictive of success than those focused on immediate customer satisfaction. If you can anticipate the customer’s needs before he does, you will position yourself to be the solution for the future. You will leap frog over the competition.
How can you discover what customers will want, even before they know it themselves? How can you anticipate future problems and help customers prevent or solve them quickly? Simple. Employ the S.E.E. method.
S.tudy. Study to identify the current and/or urgent trends and changes that are taking place in your market. I’m not talking about the obvious trends and changes. I mean those that are strategically important but perhaps not on the client’s radar. This will prepare you to intrigue your prospect, like this, “Are you aware that X could be impacting your Y? I’ve been observing Z and its potential affect on your competitors. Can we get together to discuss what it means to your firm’s bottom line?”
E.stimate. Estimate the effects that industry trends will have on your prospect’s business. Market trends trickle-down and impact businesses (your prospect). These impacts cause new pain or gain for the prospect’s business. You must understand and anticipate this pain or gain before your competition does. In this way, you position yourself to be strategically important and difficult to replace.
E.valuate. Evaluate the trickle-down effects on the person. Prospects and clients take action, not just because it’s the right thing to do for the business, but because of how it personally affects them or their careers.
Evaluate the effects that these business trends are having on the prospect. What new pain or gain could they be creating? When you can see that problem in advance, you become irreplaceable.