From Idea to Execution to Idea

One of the keys to prospecting effectively is having a differentiated, compelling idea. You get in because you have some way that you can help your prospective client with some new or better outcome. It’s your ideas that make you worth meeting with (and it’s your lack of ideas that make you worth avoiding, like the salesperson who calls me each quarter to “check in to see if anything has changed.”)

Once you win your prospect’s business, the value you create needs to move quickly from ideas to something more concrete: execution. You have to deliver what it is that you sold. The idea needs to be brought to life in your client’s company. For many of us who make a living carrying the bag, this is where things get sideways—especially when we succeed. We’ve delivered on the idea, and we settle into the warm comfort that is the status quo.

Your status quo is your competitor’s opportunity for disruption. Think about it. All they need is a differentiated, compelling idea that helps your client produce an even better outcome than you are now. Isn’t that how you got in?

What’s Next?

Client retention, wallet share, and growth require more than idea and execution. They require idea, execution, and the next idea.

Look at Apple. You buy the newest version of the iPhone or iPad knowing that Apple is going to cannibalize their success and release an even better device in a few months. And you know that the next device is going to blow the doors off the last device. You wouldn’t go back to the original iPhone, would you?

The key to beating back complacency—and the accompanying low wallet share, lost clients, and negative growth—is to move from value creation to execution to new value creation. Either you disrupt the status quo and cannibalize your success or your competitors will.


What ideas do you have that you can use to “get in?”

Why isn’t executing enough to retain your clients?

How do you come up with the next idea and prevent complacency—on your part and your client’s?

What can you do to cannibalize your success?

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