Although I earn my living here in the world of IP Communications, my true passion has always been the performing arts. This goes all the way back to what used to be called “Nursery School.” I got my first taste of working in front of an audience when I was featured as “The Troll Under the Bridge” in “Three Billy Goats Gruff .”
Since that stage debut over 40 years ago (yikes), I have found I have a particular talent for the stage comedy. Often times, performing in a comedy is like trying dance on an unstable pile of gravel. As long as you are on the very top of the pile, everything goes well and the audience laughs in all the right places. However, one misstep and you start to slide, losing the audience on the way to a hard stop at the bottom. During one particularly bad Act I of the play, “Noises Off”, the cast and I definitely felt we had slid way down the gravel pile. The audience had barely made a sound in the first 50 minutes of the show. As we all dreaded having to go back out on that stage for TWO more acts, the director gave us an age-old comedy adage to help us regain our “comedy footing”- Louder. Faster. Funnier. Seemed pretty straight forward, and in Act II and III we had the audience roaring with laughter. That simple time-tested adage has bailed out more than one cast from their own comedy landslides.
So, here we are in the IP Communications world, standing upon our own gravel pile of declining markets, shrinking economies and narrowing margins. Perhaps there is a simple adage we can look to help us through. Could it be…Better. Faster. Cheaper? In these tough times, it won’t be about what is new or cool. Find your customers’ pain points, and solve them- better, faster and cheaper than anyone else. Do that and you’re sure to end up on the top of pile.
If you don’t agree with my three choices of Better. Faster. Cheaper; please feel free to suggest some alternates. I look forward to the discussion.
OK - I'll bite with my own triad twist. When I was first out of school and starting a sales career, there was a mentor in my office who gave me a business 'value trio' to consider. As he put it, customers need to understand this reality: "There are three core elements of value to consider when purchasing anything: Best Product, Best Price, and Best Service. When developing purchase criteria, pick the most important two, because at best, you can get only two out of three."
I suppose that's true as a general rule. Certainly the world would beat down your door if you could deliver all three (assuming they want or need your product in the first place)!
But in that "triple crown" absence, it certainly does help to know where you stand in all three categories, to position yourself properly in the market - putting your best two feet forward so to speak.
So even though I like your three choices, I'll throw out my 'best' three choices too, for grins (and to challenge those that own them inside and out): "Product, Price, Service"!