May 9th, 2017

Leading with Ideas – Catalytic Ideas

This blog is part of a series on Leading with Ideas.  To read the first blog in the series, click here . We’ve looked at how Ideas work in the buying decision process; now let’s explore the qualities of an Idea that will motivate action by buyers. Some Ideas are bigger than others – some require … Continue reading “Leading with Ideas – Catalytic Ideas”

April 1st, 2017

Leading with Ideas – Generating Demand with Ideas

This blog is part of a series on Leading with Ideas.  To read the first blog in the series, click here . In the last post, we mentioned that Ideas align with the way real decisions are made – instead of working against the process.  Any purchase decision has these three sequential components: 1) Whether to Act … Continue reading “Leading with Ideas – Generating Demand with Ideas”

March 1st, 2017

Leading with Ideas – The Starting Point for True Intimacy

This is the first blog in a series on the topic of Leading with Ideas. At the heart of True IntimacySM is being a valued advisor to your clients on important opportunities and challenges to their business. Often conversations that could or should be about these opportunities and challenges are really about how to better … Continue reading “Leading with Ideas – The Starting Point for True Intimacy”

June 19th, 2015

Customer Intimacy: Messaging to Enable Sales

Since it’s so important to success, let’s talk about messaging and the sales force. You must differentiate your business with clear messaging attributes which include:

  • An Idea Sellingstoryboard
  • Answers to key questions like:
    – “Why” they should do this
    – “How” they can do this
    – “With whom” should they do this

The Idea Sellingstoryboard must be complete but concise.  Glean out a 2-3 minute explanation of why examining the Idea is so important for the customer group – The Idea Statement.  If the story takes 15 minutes to explain, it is by definition not messaged well, too complex, or too focused on your firm’s capabilities, for this stage of your journey. 

February 26th, 2015

Developing Compelling Service Chain Linkages

Linkages are pre-planned connections from one offering that pulls through the next offering. The connections are made by carefully pre-planned and executed sales activities. Of course in reality, linkages do not begin at the end of one project and end at the beginning of the next. Linkages are positioning activities that take place during the initial sales process and during projects. The positioning may not only be related to the next project in the Service Chain, but also can be made with regard to the entire Service Chain.

December 14th, 2014

Evaluating Ideas: Criteria to Foster Customer Intimacy

When developing Service Chains™ it is important to evaluate their business value and your ability to implement them in the market. At McMann & Ransford, we recommend tracking the following criteria to help foster customer intimacy:

August 12th, 2014

Leading with Ideas: The Key to Customer Intimacy

Let’s take some time and discuss the power of ideas and their importance as the central component of a True Solutions.  Good ideas facilitate the road to true customer intimacy. 

A solution is the embodiment of an idea – and how the idea can be realized.  The idea is the kernel of the change in the relationship from pushing products and discussing business opportunities.  Often conversations that are supposed to be about solutions are really about how to better use our products and get more bang for the buck in our relationship; these are valuable issues but not True Solutions™ discussions. 

November 29th, 2013

Beyond Solution Selling: Customer Intimacy as a Path to True Solutions

During the first stage of the Customer Intimacy Journey it is important to create and deliver solutions that have a visible impact with your clients

 As you know, terms like “solutions” and “customer intimacy” are overused in the management consulting industry, and I believe often mean too little.  In this blog, we’ll try to distinguish our thoughts with not-so-clever use of the terms True Solutions™ and Intimacy Engine™.  I want to talk about what True Solutions™ are and how it is crucial to the building of the Intimacy Engine™ business model.

March 4th, 2013

The Customer Intimacy Journey: A Blueprint for Change

The challenge for any significant change initiative is maintaining motivation and focus throughout the effort. Most change initiatives fail because of this very issue. Both individuals and corporations suffer from this phenomenon – personal improvement (like weight loss) is difficult because the change in habit must be maintained for a long period of time without … Continue reading “The Customer Intimacy Journey: A Blueprint for Change”

January 30th, 2013

The Sustainable Advantage: Shifting Mindsets and Business Models from Innovation to Customer Intimacy

What’s wrong with driving your business using the historic S-curve (innovation) model?  The innovation model has virtually dominated all literature, organization design, sales training, and investment strategies since the world economic boom following World War II. This is the common and erroneous management belief that we can continue to grow our business by improving current … Continue reading “The Sustainable Advantage: Shifting Mindsets and Business Models from Innovation to Customer Intimacy”