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The Power of Why: Breaking Out in a Competitive Marketplace Hardcover – April 23, 2013
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“The Power of Why is great reading and can be of use to all of those looking to come out on top.” — Donald J. Trump, Chairman and President of The Trump Organization
"Richard Weylman is still knocking doors down with brilliant distilled wisdom. To those who discover The Power of Why, I can only say 'Read and Reap.'"—Christopher Forbes, vice chairman, Forbes Media
“This book is a game changer! Richard has cracked the code for business growth.” —Jeffrey J. Fox, Bestselling author of How To Become A Rainmaker, How to Be A Fierce Competitor, and The Transformative CEO
“Richard’s book should be on every business owner’s desk. It is a must read for anyone engaged in sales and especially for those who hold customer service paramount.” — Richard S. Bernstein, CEO of Richard S. Bernstein & Associates, Inc.
"The Power of Why takes you on a wonderful journey of discovery that will elevate your customers' experiences while elevating your own business performance.” - Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute, LLC
"Your customer holds the power for your professional success. The Power of Why will show you how to meet their needs with value to boost your business to amazing heights."—Dr. Nido Qubein, president, High Point University, and chairman, Great Harvest Bread Co.
About the Author
C. Richard Weylman , Chairman of Weylman Consulting Group and CEO of The Weylman Center for Excellence in Practice Management, is a highly sought-after sales and marketing consultant, speaker, and media expert. His writings have been featured in Investment Advisor, Fundfire, NALU, GAMA News Journal, and on WSJ.com and Forbes.com.
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The goal of this book is to improve the performance of you company as well as amplify your presence in your market’s consciousness. The model is applicable to all manner of businesses, and the book is a six-step guide to the process.
The title, the Power of Why, refers to the starting point of the method - why are your customers buying from you? Typical answers are that you were first to market; you have the lowest prices, the best distribution, and so on.
Other starting questions include: why are your customers shopping around – are they “loyalty neutral”? Why are your competitors winning more business?
The challenge, Weylman explains, is “how to reach, capture, and keep this type of customer whom I define as 'delighted advocates'."
Based on years of research and as many in consulting to companies, Weylman has concluded that the mistake most companies make is rooted in their unique selling proposition (USP). They primarily promote the company from their perspective, not from that of the customer.
Think of how many businesses promote themselves in this way: “We provide unique website designs.” “We were voted number 1 again!” These are examples of being business- or product-centric, and not customer-centric.
Being heard and accepted in this noisy, crowded, ever-changing marketplace has never been harder. To the customer most businesses in the market look, sound, and act the same.
What you do or who you are or how you do it is not the answer to the most important question a business needs to ask. Rather the question is: why would people want to do business with our company rather than another?
The alternative to the USP is the UVP – the unique value promise. When customers are deciding to buy, they have one focus: they want to know how doing business with you will be good for them.
The UVP is focused on emotional meaning, personal benefit, and clear customer outcomes that will capture and keep customers.
What consumers seek is very different now. Weylman has concluded that customers want a business that “believes so strongly in what it can provide that it’s willing to make a clear, buyer-centric promise of outcome - up front, unconditional, and unqualified”.
Thinking you are distinctive is not the same as consumers finding you because you always deliver, at every level of the organisation, and in every contact, on your consumer-centric promise.
Here are some examples of customer-centric promises that have made these companies iconic in their markets.
Olive Garden is a chain of authentic Italian restaurants. Their UVP is: “When you’re here, you’re family.” This is a perfect destination for lovers of Italian food who want casual, relaxed dining where they don’t have to be self-conscious about the kids.
The UVP of Southern Air-conditioning, a repair service, states: “We are on time, or you don’t pay a dime.” If you have waited for hours for your technician to show up (as we all probably have), that would certainly appeal. It is a response to a real need – I do not like waiting around wasting my time. This is of far more appeal than that they have been voted number 1 again.
The steps to take in finding this UVP do not start in the boardroom. Step number one is to go and visit your best clients or customers and ask them why they like dealing with you. Not in general terms, but quite specifically. Weylman recommends taking them out to lunch or coffee and probing for real answers in a casual setting.
This is to be done with a number of customers. Then look for trends and patterns and formulate the most compelling into the UVP.
Having a UVP is very different to living the UVP.
Weylman visited the air-conditioning company and asked them how they were able to achieve their “on time or don’t pay” promise. He was told that they schedule appointments far enough apart to provide a buffer for travel and unexpected or long repairs. They also have “floaters” whose job it is to make every appointment on time, in case the assigned technician is delayed.
Once a company has their UVP, the work begins. Staff need to understand the UVP’s centrality to the company and how to live it. Systems need to be reviewed, refined, or changed to fit in with the UVP. Non-compliance cannot be tolerated and needs to be addressed firmly and fast.
The market is overcrowded. Attracting and retaining clients is becoming harder. This book is worth reading.
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This book shows how to get back on track, reinvigorate or reinvent your company to suit the times. It is a manual which offers step-by-step instructions to turn around, reinvigorate and redirect your company.
You start with the customer, says author C. Richard Weylman. This isn't business-speak. He uses a radical approach to focus on customers. As a consultant to companies, Weylman advises companies to invite their best customers to one-on-one lunches and ask them 18-20 specific questions to discern why they do business with the company. After talking with enough customers, Weylman suggests you use their exact descriptive words to help you craft a "unique value promise" of what your company does that is most meaningful to the kind of customer you want to keep and attract. He describes exactly how to do this in the book for the process to work effectively.
This 'unique value promise", or UVP, then becomes part of your company DNA. The "unique value promise" often has emotional meaning, a personal benefit and clear customer outcomes for a customer says Weylman. The UVP is then used to unify and train staff to get them "on promise". The UVP is also used on all marketing activities from social media to the logo to invoices to paper cups, or even on umbrellas you may have at the front door for clients to take with them on a rainy day. It markets your distinctiveness. A company's UVP should be ubiquitous and is usually about 4-8 words long. It defines your company's purpose. It is used to engage customers and to craft advantage-based selling which Weylman describes in a chapter in this book. Once you have your company's UVP - which the select customers actually vote on once you provide them with samples of their words in sentences - then you disseminate it through your company's culture, products, platforms and services.
The UVP gives a company a distinctive presence, a kind of "best in class" says Weylman. The P stands for promise, or what your company promises to accomplish for customers and clients. A tax firm promises "we solve your tax problems". FedEx promises guaranteed overnight delivery. Your UVP answers what customers achieve by buying from you says the author. A customer-centric culture is key to turning your customers from loyalty-neutral to "delighted advocates" of your company describes Weylman. Their positive word of mouth attracts new customers.
Four institutions which Weylman used this process with are featured in depth in this book illustrating how the UVP works in the real world in diverse fields. He shows what happens when companies have tried to skip a step in the process, or do the steps a different way. Companies failed to achieve the quality results. One financial company, which executed them right, brought in $160 million of new business in the month after they tried them. Once you understand the principles, and the power of why - asking your best customers why they do business with you - you will be wanting to try the process in your company.
I was impressed with the concept of "trilogy questions" and will be using that technique. If you can't hire Mr. Weylman to reinvigorate your company, the next best thing is reading this book and implementing the ideas in it. He also has a website which has information to help with the process. Anyone in business, or working with an institution, should read this book. It's written in simple and clear language, and is easy to understand. It's hard to imagine how any organization can have long term success without using the "power of why" to co-create their unique value promise with their best customers to delight them.
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If you have a business you have to read this.