“It’s just a flesh wound.” I was 18, sitting on my friend’s couch watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail when that absurdly optimistic line was delivered. We loved it. It became a sport to find the best moments to quote the movie. I confess to coming back to the huddle in a football game after getting hit (with broken ribs) and delivering that line.
Films including Monty Python and the Holy Grail are classics for a reason–many of the lines apply to our everyday experiences.
One scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian portrays a group of men sitting around a table. A leader of the group outlines the plan of attack against the Romans, and concludes with a pep-talk. He says: “[The Romans] take everything we have. And not just from us! From our fathers. And from our father’s fathers! . . . And what have they ever given us in return?”
The rally is met with silence. The group of men stare at him—there are no shouts of agreement or outbursts of enthusiasm.
Different voices slowly break the silence. What did the Romans give us? “The aqueduct,” one suggests. “Sanitation,” says another. Roads, irrigation, medicine. Education, wine, fresh water, public health. Apparently, the Romans’ contributions are some of the most critical to society.
Stop Letting Your Customer Reenact the Movie
Consider the last conversation your customer may have had when the solution was up for renewal. Your customer claims that he pays so much money, but isn’t sure what value he is getting in return. “The solution provider takes all the funding we have . . . and what has this solution ever done for us?”
When you aren’t in the room, your customer focuses adamantly on price, seeing the high cost of the solution and none of the value. When he asks questions about the value of your solution, you probably don’t have a group of people to call out value in your defense. You might not even be aware that these conversations are taking place.
Instead, you’ll find out at the next renewal, when your customer demands significant discounting, or worse–-wants to replace your solution with something cheaper and less effective.
Talk about value early and often to prevent your customer’s “value amnesia.”
Don’t let your customer get to the point where they are wondering about the value your solution provides. Be proactive and schedule recurring Value Reviews.
A Value Review is a framework for ongoing customer conversations. It shows how your customer’s goals and initiatives are being enabled by your solutions and then translates it into hard-hitting economic impact for your customer to see. When your value conversations are frequent and compelling, you remind your customer of all of the value you are contributing.
Learn how Ecosystems can help you create a framework for ongoing, strategic customer conversations around the value you are providing. Contact us at VMO@Ecosystems.us to learn more.
Chad is the president and founder of Ecosystems. For the last 20 years, Chad has led the organization, focusing on helping Fortune 500 companies set up Value Management Offices (VMOs) to quantify, capture, and report on business value. Chad’s passion is to impact the lives of others. At Ecosystems, he focuses on clarifying the impact of investments on business strategy and operations.