I had two very different conversations yesterday. One was with an entrepreneur and the other with a senior executive at a large WC services firm. The entrepreneur heads up a relatively new entrant to a niche market, while the exec is looking to grow his company’s already substantial revenue.
The entrepreneur, who we shall call E, listens intensely, believes strongly in maintaining focus and avoiding distractions, and asks lots of questions. The executive, who we shall call X, is enamored with his company’s approach to the market, loves to describe the wonders of their offerings, and can prattle on for quite a while, certainly longer than anyone could care to listen. It’s obvious X believes in what he does and is proud of it.
But no one cares about his company, their history, his product, or his “value prop.”
What E knows, perhaps intuitively, is that she doesn’t have a product or service or “value prop”, she has a potential solution to a potential customer’s problem. But until and unless she understands that customer’s problem, she’s got nothing to offer.
In contrast, X has SOOOOOO much to offer, and the only reason people don’t buy is they don’t understand how great his offering is. So, he’s got to tell them, in increasingly strident terms, about the wonders of his unique product offering. If they don’t get it, he’s going to spend lots of dollars “educating the market.”
To be crass, his approach is the legendary and all-too-common “show up and throw up”.
E’s is research, listen, ask, and understand deeply.
This being Vegas, I’m betting on E.