Your dream client views the world through their own lens. They see the world through the framework of their industry, their business model, their own business, their challenges, their opportunities, and their experiences. The individual stakeholders within their company each have their own experiences and biases, too.
The biases create a lens through which your client (and the stakeholders who make up your client) view the world. That lens shapes how they perceive value. Call it their value lens.
When the value that you create is aligned with your prospective client’s value lens, it’s easy to sell. They perceive the value in what you sell, and it aligns with and supports their worldview. But the trouble begin when your prospective client’s lens deletes or distorts the value that you create.
Distortions and Deletions
Let’s use price as an example. You might be able to produce far greater results than your low price competitors. You might even be able to prove a compelling ROI that any CFO would be proud to sign off on. But some of your prospective clients (some stakeholders) will have a value lens that deletes the value you create. Their lens only lets in “lowest price.” If they don’t see lowest price, their lens deletes the value you create; it’s not enough for you to win their business.
But the deletion and distortion of value occur in other areas.
Your dream client might have a stakeholder who perceives value through a political lens. If your solution doesn’t allow them to bury some internal opponent, they perceive other solutions as more valuable. If it doesn’t help them make the political case that they should be promoted, they can’t perceive the value.
Match the Value or Change the Worldview
There aren’t any easy answers for dealing with problems of value deletion and distortion. You can sometimes align the value you create with your client’s value lens. Other times you have to work on changing your dream client’s value lens altogether. Neither is easy, and swapping out the lens takes a lot of time. But the sooner you start working on understanding what your dream client sees through their value lens, the sooner you can match it or start helping to change it.
What does your client perceive through their value lens?
What do you do when you have a mismatch between the value you create and your prospective client’s value lens?
How do prospective clients delete the value you create by viewing it through their lens?
How do they distort the value you create because of their lens?
How do you match or change their lens?