This episode is a summary of two conferences Kirk Bowman attended this quarter. The ideas from these events challenged his thinking and influenced how he will do business in the future. The conferences were the VeraSage Symposium in Boston and Regency Mastermind in Phoenix.
Asking Great Questions – Ed Kless with Sage
- Shut Up and Eat Your French Fries from The Soul of Enterprise
- To be great consultants, we have to ask great questions.
- Examples of great questions include:
- Would it be appropriate at this time to ask you a few questions?
- What is the story that you keep telling yourself about the problems you face?
- MOAQ (mother of all questions, from Peter Drucker) – What is the question, that if you had the answer to it, would set you free?
High Value Software Projects – Kirk Bowman with Art of Value
- Software projects for efficiency only are low value and not worth doing.
- Conversations with customers were not having the enough impact.
- What question can you ask in the first conversation that would bring the impact to light?
- How does this impact revenue? Profit? Income?
- The person will know the information and share it.
- The person will not know; you will need to talk to someone else.
- The person is not willing to have the conversation because of lack of trust or relevancy.
- Revenue without an impact on profit is not worth it.
- Profit seems more private.
- For a small business, an increase in revenue can translate to a rise in profit, leading to a boost in personal income.
- What is the MOAQ for each customer segment?
- If your business is based on value pricing, you cannot make a living from low-impact projects.
- Developing and implementing custom software must have a substantial impact on the organization.
Value Compensation – Chris Marston with Exemplar
- Internal value culture or value economy says that if you are going to price customers on value, you should compensate employees based on value.
- Art of Value Society on Facebook had a discussion on this topic recently.
- Identify 5 key roles that create value in the organization:
- Opener – Begins a conversation with a customer and connects them with the company.
- Closer – Continues that relationship and reaches a signed agreement, so the company makes revenue from that relationship.
- Relationship Manager – Maintains the relationship between the customer and the company.
- Project Manager – Is required for successful value pricing.
- Do-er – The person that does the work (writes the contract, designs the software, etc.)
- A percentage is assigned to each role, and it changes depending on the project lifecycle.
Fire Each Customer Every Year – Paul Kennedy with O'Byrne & Kennedy
- This idea resonated with the attendees.
- Traditionally, in accounting, every 4th quarter, accountants are focused on renewing business for the next year.
- Paul wants to customers who every year make the choice to do business with him.
- They earn their business again, every year.
- When he tries to pull away from his customers, they pull closer.
- For customers who have been through the process for 4-5 years, the process becomes a very quick conversation at the end of the year.
- Products and services are available to help firms implement value pricing.
- Timeless Legal Network by Beth Carmichael offers products for lawyers to increase their revenue and improve their profitability.
Baker's Dozen: Best Books – Ron Baker with VeraSage
- 13 books is less than 10% of Ron's annual reading (150 books per year).
- Regency Mastermind was founded by Ray Edwards.
- Focus on your customer avatar, making it as specific as you can.
- Refine the language you use with your customer; eliminating jargon so your market can understand what you are saying.
- For example, watch Shark Tank to better understand business language.
- Learn how to write great copy (copywriting) to improve your communication skills.
- The power of the Mastermind has changed the way business will be conducted in 2016.
Transfarency by Southwest Airlines
- Transfarency – Philosophy created by Southwest Airlines in which Customers are treated honestly and fairly, and low fares actually stay low – no unexpected bag fees, change fees, or hidden fees. Created and practiced exclusively by Southwest Airlines.
- Be unique to be perceived as the expert.