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You Need To Be 150% Better

Date - 05 August 2016/ Category - Personal Lessons
Personal lessons

The world is not a fair place and because of this you’re going to have to run at 150% just to keep up.

We’re taught to believe that having a great product is enough, but it’s not. Our world is full of bias towards existing products and services.

Established competitors benefit from our natural tendency to fear change and prefer inertia. In fact the existence of inertia can lead to a phenomenon called cash cows.

Buy a business, hike up its prices and benefit from a short term boost in profit simply because the rise in revenue outweighs the number of people willing to leave.

If you’re trying to bring a product to market, or simply want to pitch your services against someone else you’re going to come up against the fear of change.

I’ve experienced it first hand on many occasions. It doesn’t matter if you’re better or if picking you is the logical choice. Logic doesn’t come into it.

This means you’re going to have to work extra hard to overcome the bias that stands against you.

Simply making a nice brochure or having a good pitch isn’t good enough, you’ll need to think of every single avenue and not just beat it but destroy their advantage.

I once pitched to build a website against an established digital agency. The agency quotes £5k for a 3 page website. I quoted £600.

I didn’t actually want to make a profit, I was simply testing my inertia theory and the opportunity came up to see first-hand how powerful the fear of change is.

I won the pitch, but only on the condition that I dropped the price to £500. How is anything about that reaction logical? I was already way under price; but that’s what you’re up against.

Imagine you’re a distributor of lighting, if you were to walk into a showroom and pitch your products, it’s simply not good enough to be cheaper than their current supplier.

You need to be cheaper, have better products, offer better delivery, better payment terms, better marketing support and wrap the whole package up in a smooth pitch.

Most businesses only tackle one of those angles, but one isn’t enough, nor is two. You need to smash the opposition out of the park to even get the chance to push that stone up hill.

Yet even when you do that you’re forgetting one thing, businesses don’t really care if you’ve got the best product or service, they want you to make them more money.

It’s interesting that you can beat your competition hands down yet still not get the deal because actually at the end of the day changing over to you isn’t worth the hassle if there’s no proof you’ll make them more money.

You might be better than the competition, but can you guarantee you will make them sell 4 tables a week and not 3?

We’re often guilty of forgetting the cost of change. Say you want your products listed on a website, or to get your items into a showroom. All that has a cost and even if you covered it for them, who’s to say your better products will sell?

That’s why people prefer proven products over new ones, they have proven profit margins and proven sales volumes. It’s why shops sell Coca Cola over Roller Cola and Mercedes over MGs. Known is safe.

Everyone would rather invest in a McDonalds than a Wimpy Burger even if Wimpy has better profits margins, customer service and lower set up costs.

If you’re going to bring something new to market you need to come up with a plan to get over all these hurdles and more.

Chapter Summary:

• The world isn’t logical
• Inertia will mean you have to go over and above
• You need to beat your competition from every angle

Read our next blog post “Remember who you are”.