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Strategic Services

What every serious company should know in order to
dominate their market
- By Chet Holmes

Strategy Vs. Tactics

Most companies, even many of the largest companies in the world, are not very effective at understanding and deploying the difference between strategy and tactics. Most cannot define the difference. Just to be sure we're on the same page, let's define them, as they relate to business.

Strategy means that you have determined, in advance, an ultimate goal you would like to achieve for each tactic.

Tactics are the things you do to achieve your goal. A tactic is a marketing effort such as: a sales call, a trade show, a newspaper ad, a meeting with a new client, etc.

Understand that before you deploy one of these tactics, you have to determine the ultimate objective you would like to achieve. For example, if you have an interaction with a customer (like a sales call) and we ask you what you want to achieve, most likely you would simply say, "to make a sale."

But we would challenge you that you can achieve a lot more. Maybe you want to build in a preemptive strategy for "disempowering" the competition. Maybe you want to build in an automatic referral program or plant the seed to generate more referrals.

Maybe you want to arm all your clients with better information; Every client you have is a potential salesperson for your organization. What do you want them to say and have you planted all the right strategic positioning into your tactical interface?

The point is that if you're not THINKING this one through, your tactics do not MAXIMIZE on the opportunity at hand.

Of course, once you "strategize" on what you expect from each tactic, you need to create an actual policy or procedure to implement that idea with piercing effectiveness at the tactical level.

Also, focus on how your tactics should be working together to achieve the ultimate goal or reputation that you want to achieve. Most companies do not look at their tactics as an integrated program. For example, let's say that I could put all of your best potential buyers in a room all at once and then gave you the opportunity to stand in front of them to make your best presentation to these people. This one single opportunity, if properly executed, could forever change your life.

Imagine, that you were given all the time you needed and this incredible opportunity to tell all your best potential buyers exactly what you want them to know about you and your business. What would you say? Here are some things you should think about before you get up in front of this group:

  1. What is the long-term reputation you want? And, are you operating today in a way that is going to achieve that reputation?
  2. Exactly how do you want to be perceived?
  3. What's different or better about how you do things over everyone else? Every company has something unique to offer, something that sets them apart - if you don't, then you should have. You'd better think about it and make sure you are communicating it.

In other words, what is your ultimate strategic position and perception you want the market to have about you and your products or services? Does your marketing today reflect the ultimate reputation or position you want in your market? Have you really thought about this?

When you have great strategies, great positioning and your tactics are always deploying your strategy, then all your tactics begin to add up to something. Your tactics work harder and smarter for the same money if they deploy strategy every time you use one. Same money, bigger results: if you're THINKING and PLANNING before you execute.

Here's the BIG breakthrough every company should be looking to achieve

I teach a concept called: "Setting the Market's buying criteria." Let's define this, because if you get this on a deep level, it can change everything for you.

Most people come to most buying situations with a loose buying criteria and then as they get more educated, their buying criteria begins to formulate.

If you set up the buying criteria, you take market share.

So let me give you an example. We grew up in a time when virtually every pizza place delivers pizza. Let's take you back to 1970. At that time, no one delivered pizza. We called the local pizza place and we ordered a pizza and went down to pick it up.

So let's say you and I are sitting around looking at the success of MacDonald's back then and saying: "Jeez, there's a pizza place on every corner in America, we ought to be able to come up with some kind of franchise-able idea about Pizza."

Could we make pizza really different? Not really, people want pizza when they want pizza. So we look through the yellow pages (in 1970) and we notice there's this one pizza place who delivers. We call him up to find out what the service is like and the person on the phone says: "We're about a two hour wait right now."


Dominoes shifted the buying criteria away from pizza and to delivery. And then they further shifted it to speed of delivery. Their original slogan was: "Pizza delivered in 30 minutes or its free." That totally shifted the entire market's buying criteria on pizza. That became a $9 billion buying criteria, and it changed the way the entire market thought. And the product was secondary. Is there a way for YOU to do that?

Fed Ex: Their slogan, "When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight," changed the way we all do business. I can tell you that even as recently as back in 1980, it NEVER absolutely had to be there overnight. They created a buying criteria that shifted the entire market and created a fifty billion dollar industry.

So what's the buying criteria for your products? And can we develop one that literally makes everyone say: "THAT'S what I need to buy."

Here are some other things to consider:

  1. Can your buying criteria actually motivate purchasing from people who might not think they need the product until they hear the strategic position? "The nighttime, achy, sniffling, sneezing, fever-so-you-can rest medicine." This single strategic approach created a billion per year product (Nyquil) where we once took two or three different products.
  2. Can your buying criteria pre-empt or disempowered your competition?
  3. Can your buying criteria make you the single most logical choice? (when it absolutely positively has to be there overnight).

Now let's say we set up a flawless buying criteria, one that you're sure shifts huge market share to your company.

How do we deploy that?

This can make all the difference. I've seen brilliant ideas die on the vine because those with the ideas didn't know how to implement at the tactical level.

So this is the part where I shamelessly plug my services.

I can give you example after example of situations where I was able to completely shift the buying criteria in favor of my client. Complicated or simple, it doesn't matter. Simple can be shifted simply (pizza example), and complicated has some built-in opportunities to shift the buying criteria in a way that no one can compete (the more complex, the better we can set up the criteria in your favor).

The point is that I have never seen a situation where I couldn't set up a buying criteria in way in which my client became their market's most logical choice for anyone (or almost anyone) exposed to the approach.

But the implementation, this is really the key. I learned that the hard way. My first large corporate client paid me more than $300,000 and together we developed a "strategy" that would've entirely shifted the buying criteria in their favor. I presented this to the CEO and he knew I was right. I rolled it out at a sales meeting with their 265 salespeople) and they all intellectually grasped the concept.

Then they went out into the field ill-equipped to deploy this strategy and it failed terribly. Why? Because most people aren't tens. A "Ten" is one of those people who's just darn good at whatever it is your want them to do. You can get shades of ten: One person is a ten at qualifying, but a 3 at getting in the door in the first place. Another person is a ten at getting in the door, but he could care-a-less about the customer (he's a 2 in that area). Etc. The point is that great ideas, I learned the hard way, are only as good as plan to implement.

Over the years, I've developed more than fifty proprietary methods of implementing anything. This is a critical skill area and it is one of the skill areas I bring to the table. A skill earned the hard way, through trial and error.

The next steps if you want some help:

A Chet Holmes marketing, management and sales audit.

It's taken 15 years to craft this audit. I did my first audit on a large client had 23 questions and I thought that audit was very strong. Five years later it had grown to 66 questions. 15 years later, now at more than 100 questions, I've really polished this service. More than 100 questions enable me to learn more about the companies I audit than they know themselves. Yes, believe me. I will find out things no knows because no one ever asked these questions. The quality of the questions is superb. Second, the process is highly evolved after 15 years of doing this.

I guarantee, absolutely, that I will find more than hundred, usually more than 200 specific opportunities for improvement. Some profound, some not as profound, but ALL will be significant and worth mentioning and you will be impressed with the findings.

After the audit (interviewing many layers deep in your organization, like a blood hound on the scent of the way to radically improve profits), I take you through my findings. At that point, you have the option of going or not going any further with me. In other words, you can take my "findings" and the opportunities I point out for you and go and implement on your own.

I can tell you that no client has ever had the audit and its report and not gone forward with the next several phases.

The next several phases include research to prove or substantiate the strategic position that will, in fact, "shift the buying criteria in your favor," and then several layers of implementation of the hundred or more "possible improvements" the audit uncovers.

Typically, I find that companies under $3 million in annual revenue are really not in a position to get involved with this level of service. No intent to insult, just please understand how many responses I get from companies who really are not in a position to utilize my services or even deploy the concepts I might present to them.

I can get you results and would explore the possibilities with any viable candidate.

If this is you, please click here to email me.

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