When Who Moved My Cheese? hit a nerve over a decade ago, Spencer Johnson’s book became the rave of business people. It’s a timeless book that will always be applicable and relevant as long as human beings are so predictable. When the proverbial cheese moves in your industry, you can either change or become complacent. Becoming complacent today ensures you will become irrelevant as the world around you changes.
We talk to businesses every day that experience a shift in their industry or marketplace. The story usually entails how money used to be easy to make. There were loyal customers and predictable leads. They could sense things changing, but they could not necessarily put their finger on it. Someone is making money in their industry or a newer value proposition and they are left out of the game.
Here is what is typical in the story:
- Commoditization. Because choice is now available to everyone and your competitors are a mouse-click away, price becomes more of an issue. It’s easy to compare. It’s easy to get another option. That’s what happens with choice and low value. The scarcity of choice may have been protection in the past, but its not a covering for today’s connected buyer.
- Character. Having flawed systems for doing business may have been acceptable previously. However, buyers are used to a high level of service. It may not be in your industry. No matter. They are comparing you with everyone they experience – Nordstrom, BMW, American Express, etc. How you do business today is compared to the world. Upgrade or become marginalized.
- Connection. The party has moved. Where and how you used to meet and connect with potential buyers has moved. Those trade shows have become a ghost town. Who wants to travel and inconvenience themselves as they did before? You can’t interrupt and call people. Noone wants to be sold. Your old marketing doesn’t work. People are buying differently and you are not at the party.
I know people who desire to turn back the clock. They want the old days. It was easier. They did not have to change and could count on business.
That’s not a conversation we care about being involved in. It is much better to get tuned into what is truly happening and learning how to connect in the constantly changing way your market is working. It’s hard work. It’s inbound. It’s a journey.
What are your options otherwise?