When it comes down to it, your customers are looking at your firm and at your competitors when deciding who wins the contract. So why should they pick you? What makes you so special to them? The person in charge of making purchasing decisions is asking for “more”. I was reading an article that really struck me and made me think about my clients who are working to get on winning project teams. The article is called Tiebreaker Selling (Harvard Business Review, March 2014), and the authors, James C. Anderson, James A. Narus and Marc Wouters, explore what exactly the “more” is that customers want. It turns out, during a three-year research project, the authors discovered the “more” is actually “the justifier”. In other words, what is the value your proposition brings to the client and makes them look good to their higher ups? Even more importantly, how exactly do you present that justifier to the client? So stop for a moment and consider what the justifier could have been on a recent proposal that didn’t make it to the “finish line” with the client. What could have made a difference to the decision maker if you had presented that justifier? If you can give your clients a visible “win” with your solution, chances are more likely you will win too.
Ann Banning - Wright