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From Capabilities To Tactics

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As you learned in our last session, Tactics are combinations of activities available to you through the capabilities of the resources you have available.

When your capabilities become routines, and exist in the culture of your practice, you have developed a core competency. The routines you develop include the coordination of the diverse production skills required to produce work product, and to manage multiple streams of technologies. These routines and core competencies become the intangible assets of your practice.

Your core competencies are what you use to solve the needs of your target market, and deliver your value proposition, as well as present your irresistible offer.

Competencies can be used to create a competitive advantage. These are the competencies you wish to identify and exploit.

Got all that?

Well, in this course, I’ve also been talking to you about your Value Proposition.

There’s a reason for that.

Most practitioners like to think they are delivering value to their clients. Nothing could be further from the truth. The practitioner is delivering a proposition that may deliver value if and when the client accepts the Value Proposition. There is no value in what you do other than what a client gets out of it. The client extracts value.

Most practitioners like to think they are delivering value to their clients. Nothing could be further from the truth. Click To Tweet

Think of the classic analogy of a buyer who goes into a hardware store and purchases a shovel. The buyer has not yet filled the need that instigated their purchase. They will not have fulfilled their need or want until they have used the shovel and dug a hole. Their need was for a hole, not a shovel that will sit idly in their tool shed until the next hole is needed.

In the same line, there is no value to a client until they make use of your service or product. Value is not the resources you put into your service, it is not the capabilities you use to deliver your value proposition. Value is what your clients get out of your services. It is what researchers talk about as emerging in the client’s “space” rather than in the practitioner’s “space.” Your client assesses the value of your service based on what they get out of it, not what you put in it.

Similarly, you cannot manage a client “relationship.” Attempting to manage the relationship implies that one exists, and it may not. Only the client can decide if you have a relationship.

Until now, all of your efforts have been focused on identifying your target market needs, the capabilities you have to fulfill those needs, and the promise you will give your target so that they may get the value they are seeking. Your tactics are the actions you take to communicate and deliver that promise. If the client chooses to accept delivery of your promise, then you may have a relationship.

In addition, your tactics must overcome the barriers created by your competitors before your message can be communicated, and your promise can be delivered. These barriers are the tactics chosen by your competitors to communicate and deliver their promise. These barriers become a part of the environment in which your target market exists.

Your selection of tactics will depend on the needs of your target market, and your desire to avoid or overcome the barriers presented by your competition.

In addition to the needs of your market, which you defined during your research and identification of the market, and which you used to define your value proposition, there are intrinsic needs which determine how you must communicate your promise.

Your selection of tactics will depend on the needs of your target market, Click To Tweet

Buyers do not respond to your offers when you decide, buyers position themselves along a continuum of needs, ranging from the purely transactional type of buyer, to the consultative buyer, and on to the fully engaged complex buyer, and respond when they are ready, according to their choice of position along the continuum. Take a few moments to download the Rainmaker Buyer Type/Principles, the Rainmaker Buyer/Promises Type and the Rainmaker Tactics Development Worksheet, and study them for awhile. What’s there should be pretty obvious, once you look at it, but it helps to understand how buyers position themselves when responding to offers.

Once you understand how the prospect perceives the promise embodied in your Irresistible Offer, and what Principles your offer must adhere to, then you will see what patterns of influence you have to follow. Your next step is to select tactics that you have the capability to deliver using your available resources, that meet those intrinsic prospect needs.

See how it all flows together . . . sooner or later?

Just as your Value Proposition embodies the Promise you are making to your Prospects and Clients, there are six major concepts and principles you need to apply to your tactics selection or development. Your Tactics Development Worksheet shows the principles along with some examples of how to communicate your position. They are:

1. Credibility: This is a huge part of Rainmaker tactics, in that if it seems a practitioner doesn’t know what they are talking about, or is making things up, the prospect will lose trust and be unlikely to commit to an engagement.

2. Social Proof: If a practitioner can show the prospect that other people have engaged your services before, they will be more likely to retain you. Using references and testimonials is huge.

3. Commitment and Consistency: Getting the prospect to confirm a need or problem you have identified, especially if they are encountering it at the time is a great way to get them committed to implementing a solution later on.

4. Liking: A big part of retaining clients and building a network of Evangelists is getting the prospect to like you, and this is exemplified by the principle of liking. People prefer to say “yes” to things they like, or are familiar with.

5. Authority: This concept is similar to social proof, but more specific. If you can show that the CEO of a targeted prospect, or someone else in authority, endorses your service, this will seriously aid in the persuasion process.

6. Fear: Prospects are more likely to make a commitment if they think there is a risk in not committing. For example, using words like “today,” and “right now,” inserts a fear of scarcity into the conversation and creates an incentive to make a commitment.

Applying these principles to your sales process influences prospects and can go a long way toward being successful in persuading them.

I have included some examples of Generic Rainmaker Tactics which might be used in your strategy for each category of buyer.

The tactics are not exclusive to the buyer type and your strategy, but can be mixed along a continuum. I have also merged cells below the principles to show how one group of tactics might be used to communicate multiple principles.

Now, go ahead and download the Rainmaker Buyer Type/Principles, the Rainmaker Buyer/Promises Type and the Rainmaker Tactics Development Worksheet, which I sort of designed after discovering Porter’s Value Chain model. You can use it as a guide when you start to develop and select your tactics.

Now, it’s time to revisit the Rainmaker Simplified Strategy Matrix, and think about your target market environment, and the strategy you have selected.

Remember that we defined the Archer Strategy as one where there were many competitors in a large market, and the suggested strategy was one where you selected a tight niche within that market, and focused your resources on a value proposition aimed at solving the specialized needs of that niche. Essentially, similar to Porter’s Generic Strategy of Focused Differentiation.

Remember that we defined the Archer Strategy as one where there were many competitors in a large market, and the suggested strategy was one where you selected a tight niche within that market Click To Tweet

The Brander Strategy was defined as one where there were many competitors in a small market. The Brander Strategy is essentially Porter’s Generic Differentiation Strategy with the principle of Branding as a Generic Tactic.

The Brander Strategy was used where there were many competitors in a small market. Click To Tweet

The Clumper Strategy was defined as one where there are few competitors in a large market. The Clumper Strategy essentially embodies Porter’s Generic Low Cost Leader Strategy.

The Clumper Strategy was used where there are few competitors in a large market. Click To Tweet

And finally, I defined the Developer Strategy as one where there were few competitors in a small market. The Developer Strategy is a variant of Porter’s Generic Differentiation Strategy using the principle of Positioning as a Generic Tactic.

The Developer Strategy is used where there were few competitors in a small market. Click To Tweet

Yes, we’ve reached the hard part. Where you have to pull it all together and come up with a way to actually market your practice, rather than hiding here on the interweb learning how to plan it all.

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