Friday, May 13, 2011

Showing the Way vs. Getting in the Way - how to avoid disintermediation.

I spoke recently to Susan Adams at Forbes Magazine who was very interested in the role of the sales person today and we began by discussing the concept of the product that sells itself. Well as any of you in sales know, such products while not quite mythical are certainly few and far between. The Apple products iPhone and iPAD probably fall into that category for now although the strides made by Android phones and by other tablet makers have started to slowly erode that position.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Seeking Warm Weather or Real Differentiation

A colleague of mine is in the midst of a rigorous search with her teenage daughter (we’ll call her Liz) to find a suitable college for next year. Over the past few months they have visited, interviewed and toured at seventeen different colleges up and down the east coast from Alabama to Vermont. In each of these interviews the college is selling the reason that they are the best and logical choice for Liz to attend. What is fascinating is how each college goes about differentiating itself from its competitors for the goal of student dollars. In every case they tout facts about the school that they are convinced will impress such as: