Psst. I have a secret. I’m talking to you, CEO.
While your counterparts are handwringing about how to grow their business by earning more customers, or by stealing more customers from their competition, you and I are going to have a Zen moment.
While they are lobbing the grenades in that unwinnable battle, in a competitive marketplace in which EVERYONE has the same sales and marketing tools (or is in the process of getting them), we’re going to take a few cleansing breaths, and look within.
While they pin their hopes on the belief that revenue growth is entirely a function of gaining a bigger share of the market, we’re going to take the contrarian view that the market is not “out there,” but already “here” – loyally transacting business with us, trusting us – and eager to grow their relationship with us.
Which brings us back to that secret: Stealing customers from competitors, quite simply, is a zero-sum, win-lose, game. It assumes that the market is a steady-size pie, and all that matters is how big a slice you get. But I believe that the REAL way to grow is to make your pie bigger. Here are three ways you can find your Zen, grow your pie, and get bigger without entering the share-gain dogfight:
But how do you sell more to existing customers? Here are some ideas:
Many people would suggest a fourth way to grow the pie -- acquisition. I didn’t, because I don’t see this as its own category; to me, it’s a quicker path to achieve Nos. 1 or 2 – or to gain (buy) share quickly. Is an acquisition the path to get into a new and growing part of the market or add a product, capability or channel that you need?
So, as a CEO, I’d challenge you. The next time you think about growth, don’t just look at how to take a customer away from a competitor. Take a Zen moment, and consider how to get the most growth from the customers you have today – or customers your competition never even considered.