To set your company apart in today’s guidance economy, it’s increasingly critical to demonstrate that you have a clear and engaging point of view on issues that matter to your prospects and customers.
I call this a compelling perspective.
By presenting a vivid perspective, you give your audience a better understanding of key trends and market dynamics. This helps them see that change is happening around them and shouldn’t be ignored.
You diagnose and clarify the costly challenges that they may be facing. This helps them see the consequences they face if they choose to ignore the changes and challenges now closing in on them.
And then you illuminate the range of possible solutions your audience members might embrace to address these challenges. This helps them see there are sensible ways to address their existing concerns and problems – and that these solutions have proven payoffs.
This perspective or point of view may take many forms. You might deliver it in a speech or an online presentation. You might present it as a white paper, an executive report or an authoritative article. It may be the foundation for a lively exchange in an online forum. You might draw on it to clarify your position in a sales conversation.
The point of developing a compelling perspective is to act as a true thought leader and put your stake in the ground. It’s about clarifying your position on a key issue, giving your audience something to consider, evaluate, contest, refine and embrace. The more compelling your perspective, the more it draws people in and provokes them to offer their own views. That’s what you want. That’s when they are engaged.
But it can’t be about you. It’s about them. Your perspective must be presented in a way that lays out the findings of your research or investigation. You are building a case. You are, in many ways, like a trial attorney laying out the evidence for the consideration of the jury. This trial, however, does not revolve around guilt or innocence. This trial is about change. It’s an argument for upsetting the apple cart and challenging the status quo. And it better be compelling. Who, after all, wants to change? Change is hard. Change requires commitment and investment.
In the absence of compelling perspectives, one is forced to compete on products and services alone. The prospective buyer, who is desperately seeking reliable guidance, is left to contemplate a dizzying array of features and functions, pitches and promises. This is how markets get commoditized and buyers are taught to put price first.
Compelling perspectives, however, enable companies to distinguish themselves as trusted authorities, lead change and defend their value premiums. By building a powerful case and closing the guidance gap, they earn the trust and confidence of prospective buyers – and that’s what it takes to win in a hyper-competitive guidance economy.
Britton Manasco is founder of Manasco Marketing Partners .