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What matters to the customer depends on what they are buying

Your process should guide participants to discover what matters to the customer



  • What the customer cares about depends on what they are buying. The closer things get to a commodity, the less the vendor matters and the more that price matters. The closer you get to a unique solution, the more trust and risk matter.
  • Products and services can be either unique solutions or commodities, but what matters to the customer about products and services is different.
  • How the customer perceives their need in relation to this chart matters. If it does not match what you offer, then your positioning will be wrong. Perceptions may not be clear and range over an area instead of point, and may be subject to change, although this can be a tough sale.
  • How to correctly position your offering depends on having the right information about the customer and their needs.
  • The items in the middle can lean towards the corners. For example, what matters about "risk" can depend on the nature of the offering.
See also:
Customer perspective

What is the nature of what your company's offering?

Where is your offering in the mix?

If a company is not highly focused, they all may seem to apply. Sometimes company's have multiple offering that might not group together on the chart. This might appeal to a broader group of customers, or require different approaches to market.

The goal of thinking about this is to see if you can:

  1. Anticipate what will matter to the customer?
  2. Gain better customer insight by bringing some structure to your customer interactions?
  3. Implement a process or model that makes it easier to figure out what to do about it, once you've discovered what matters to the customer.
  4. Convert  a structured like this into a process that drives customer awareness into the written proposal?

You can use this model to connect the dots and streamline the transition from sales to the proposal. You can also use it to increase win probability, by bringing a little structure to your message development instead of making it up during proposal writing.


Discussion topic: To design your process, you need to honestly assess what your company offers so that you can implement a process that guides people to discover the customer's concerns and address them with the correct positioning. Different people in your company may have a different perception of your offerings, making the discussion itself a valuable exercise, separate from the process considerations. Also, your current offerings may different from past or future intended offerings. Ultimately it is not even your perceptions that matter. Use the chart to discover what matters to the customer and how to position accordingly.
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More information about "Carl Dickson"

Carl Dickson

Carl is the Founder and President of CapturePlanning.com and PropLIBRARY

Carl is an expert at winning in writing, with more than 30 year's experience. He's written multiple books and published over a thousand articles that have helped millions of people develop business and write better proposals. Carl is also a frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant and can be reached at carl.dickson@captureplanning.com. To find out more about him, you can also connect with Carl on LinkedIn.

Click here to learn how to engage Carl as a consultant.

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