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Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's always good when you pick up an interesting new phrase. My latest came from a prospect when we were planning their new business campaign: "Conquest Business"

As soon as I heard it I thought, "ooooh, I like that!"

Anyone who's been involved in new business sales will instantly get it too. New business is just that - a conquest.

Unlike selling existing products and services to existing customers, new business is the hardest business to win.

I liked it so much I've updated my new business matrix:

This matrix shows the different types of new business. Selling in the right-hand quadrants is always tougher (and more expensive) than selling to existing customers. Most of our work is focused on the lower right-hand quadrant, which is classic new business (shown above as "conquest").

Occasionally we get involved in real "Pioneering" new business, particularly with start-ups. This is where you're selling new (and usually unproven) services to new customers or clients. This is pretty much as hard as it gets.

It never ceases to surprise me when I'm talking to an entrepreneur who has a service that no-one has ever paid money for and they think it's going to be a walk in the park to win new business. Which is the right attitude for the entrepreneur, I guess, but they're always taken aback when we're less enthusiastic; we know that it's never that easy.

"First mover advantage" always sounds good when you're pitching for investment. But when you're selling to an un-educated market that has no idea about your service (and often about the problem it solves) and you've got no real examples or references to point to... it's a different matter.

How can you spot a pioneer?

They're the ones with the arrows in their back.

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Posted by: David Regler @ 7:48 am |   | Links to this post  

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