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Mind Share or The Spreadsheet

You have a choice of where and how you compete. You can choose to compete on the battlefield that is “mind share.” Or you can compete on the battlefield that is “spreadsheet.”

It feels like “mind share” is more difficult. You have to get into the process much earlier, long before a spreadsheet has been created. You also need to try to develop consensus around what your dream client’s challenges are, as well as what the right solution needs to look like. It takes time and effort to get in front of deals.

The spreadsheet feels easier. All you need to do is ask to be added to the list of companies who are going to be included in a request for proposal. If there isn’t a proposal, all you need to do is to offer up a lower price to someone receptive enough to compare your price to your competitor’s.

But in all things human, fast is slow and slow is fast. Difficult is easy, and easy is difficult.

“Mindshare” takes more time and effort, but it massively increases the likelihood that you both create and win an opportunity. By developing the relationships, the trust, and the deep understanding, you position yourself as the right choice–regardless of the differences that show up on the spreadsheet later.

The “spreadsheet” isn’t the best place to do battle. Much of what is supposed to be objective turns out to be subjective. Without your being known as someone with the ability to create and deliver the right solution, your dream client has no choice but to look to more easily measured attributes like price, attributes that don’t likely help you to position yourself to win. In fact, a low price can easily be seen as unresponsive and irresponsible.

You want to do battle for mind share, even when it is more difficult. Competing on the spreadsheet is more difficult and eliminates your ability to make things unequal when it comes to what is really important. Most of what is really important is invisible and can’t be captured on a spreadsheet. It needs to be seen and felt by the people who will ultimately make the decision to buy.


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Filed under: Sales 3.0, Trust, Value

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