FEATURED ARTICLE

The Most Important Pricing Skill

Do you know the one key to being a better pricer? It’s the ability to have a good conversation. This might seem like an overly simple solution to a costly and often complex challenge but pricing success really does come down to your ability to encourage and navigate respectful dialogue.
Help I’m Being Held Hostage by a Sales Robot

Help I’m Being Held Hostage by a Sales Robot

“In the sale, your job is not to convince, you have no business trying to convince anyone of anything ever.” Blair Enns said these words from a stage in Memphis at a conference I was attending almost 15 years ago. It was the first time I’d heard him speak. At that moment, after he said

Who Will Be the Adult In the Room?

Why do agencies get themselves into these situations where they feel they have to take work on onerous terms, where they have to put up with procurement’s powerplay moves and where they have no power to affect price?

Tap Into the Purpose Behind the Transaction

I bet I can guess your Why. What I mean is, if you are one of the millions of people who have been moved by Simon Sinek to “find your Why”, as articulated in his TEDx talk and book Start With Why, I’m pretty sure I can guess what that Why is. With only subtle

New Year’s Themes, Not Resolutions

There is a period in everyone’s development, I believe, where they choose to be dismissive of New Year’s resolutions. If that’s you now, you’ll get over it. New Year’s resolutions are a perfectly valid mechanism for helping to drive change in one’s career, business or life, but most of them fail to achieve such change,

Navigating The Seven-Year Chokepoint

Business is a game with hidden levels. By succeeding at one level, you get invited to play the next. The common mistake is to bring those first-level tools to the next level. Not only do they not work here, but they also work against you. Many of the habits you learned you will now have to unlearn. Accepting this inevitable obsolescence of tools is the key to obtaining all the advanced levels of success.

Is The Design Firm an Endangered Species?

I imagined that there is a line among design-based businesses that separates those who see themselves as in the business of design from those who see design as just one of the tools they use, in the service of whatever business they are really in. I wondered if this line was moving, squeezing out the traditional design firm.

The Ultimate Test of Your Positioning

When we’re working with owners of independent creative firms on the positioning of their firms, we separate the exercise of choosing a focus, from the exercise of articulating a claim. The first is an act of sacrifice, which most people in the creative professions struggle with (even more so than the average business owner, I believe), and the second is an act of communication, something creative professionals revel and delight in.

Why Your Positioning Problem Doesn’t Go Away

Imagine a more detailed map than this for every new business development decision that you face like positioning, lead generation, dealing with RFPs and closing. And then add a peer group of other owners just like you going through the same steps and the helpful guidance of a Win Without Pitching coach. That’s what’s available to you in the Win Without Pitching program where we have numerous training formats to match your learning style and budget.

Alternative Forms of Reassurance

Blair and David analyze and then look beyond the requests for reassurance potential clients make during the late stage of a sale to address their underlying motivations.

Four Segments of New Business

Blair and David come up with descriptive words that help clarify each of the four parts of what David calls the “pantheon” for new business: positioning, lead generation, sales, and pricing.

The Most Important Pricing Skill

Do you know the one key to being a better pricer? It’s the ability to have a good conversation. Pricing success really does come down to your ability to encourage and navigate respectful dialogue.

Clients Deserve to Know What They’re Buying

Many of your proposals fail because the client isn’t sure what they would be buying. One of the first pricing principles I address in Pricing Creativity: A Guide to Profit Beyond the Billable Hour is the idea that there are three things you can sell and price: inputs, outputs or value.

The Most Valuable Skill in Business

The goal of value-based pricing is not to charge more—that’s merely a beneficial consequence. The goal of value-based pricing is to create an organization that is intently focused on creating extraordinary customer value.

Rising From The Ashes: A New Agency Model

As someone who is perhaps a little too fond of a grand statement, I’m tempted to borrow from Landau and shout that I have seen the marketing agency model of the future and its name is Communo. Like Landau, however, I have a bias. (Landau went on to become Springsteen’s manager shortly after writing those words.) I’m an advisor to Communo and have a financial interest in their success.

The Great Convergence is Upon Us

One of the clearest trends in professional firms today is the convergence of the disciplines of design, business consulting and software engineering on the same client business challenges. This Great Convergence is pitting firms of radically different types against each other in the battle to best serve the client, and it’s creating new types of

Four Steps To Lead Generation Success

When I think of the firms that drive numerous inbound leads they all have one very clear thing they do. Their lead generation efforts are as focused as their positioning. They’ve resisted diluting their efforts across numerous channels, avoiding Warren Buffet’s admonishment that “Diversification is for people who don’t know what they are doing.”

Managing Bad Referrals From Good Clients

It takes a lot of work in fact to generate a steady stream of good referrals and it’s no surprise that very few firms ever get to this place where the business is sustained and growing entirely by doing great work for good clients and systematically asking for and following up on referrals. It is however the highest form of “marketing” that we should all aspire to.

The One Word You Need to Hear

There’s a word you need to hear that I’ve been struggling to say to you. I’ve been keeping it from you because I have incontrovertible proof that you don’t like this word. Now, you, the individual, might be an exception but you and your peers as a group don’t like it. I know because every

Open Book Management

Blair gets David to admit that he was kind of wrong about open book management being just a fad when he originally wrote about it almost two decades ago, and David offers ways that it can actually improve relationships with both employees and clients when used appropriately.

Alternative Forms of Reassurance

Blair and David analyze and then look beyond the requests for reassurance potential clients make during the late stage of a sale to address their underlying motivations.

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