How to increase your success in finding new LEGO Serious Play clients? How to improve your chance in winning proposals?
In this blog post you will learn how to spell out your unique sales proposition in just three steps. It is a 10-minute exercise that can help you to get your focus sharper and increase your likelihood of finding work assignments that you love. I will write about the magic 3-letter marketing word “USP” – your Unique Selling Proposition.
One of the most frequent question that people have asked the SeriousPlayPro community members is about finding new sales leads. But how to be successful? Yesterday I got this question:
I’m still a beginner in LSP, and so far I have used LSP mainly in short workshops for problem solving at the place where I work. I love the LSP method and would like to start building this as a business. I find it difficult to start marketing my services. How should I start?J.D.
Starting with sales and marketing just requires a new set of simple skills and tools. To address those questions I have decided to start with a new series of articles that will focus on:
Lego Serious Play Sales and Marketing Tips
In the first post of the series I suggest a simple first step in increasing your success rate in attracting new clients and nailing winning proposals by formulating your unique sales proposition.
Your Unique Sales Proposition
Most LSP facilitators market themselves as a “Certified facilitator of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method and materials” with proper capitalization and (R)-symbols in correct places. This is just like LEGO Serious Play Trademark Guidelines has asked you to do. Well done – you are following the rules of the LEGO Group.
However, for marketing this is not enough. For any business to catch attention of your client you need to identify two things:
- What the client is looking for and
- What sets you apart among other facilitators.
The best strategy is the one that combines the two. You need to find the match between the opportunities on the market (what jobs the clients hire) and your own strengths (where you can offer the most value).
Step 1 – Jobs that Clients Need
Your client is looking for “jobs to be done”. Harvard professor Clayton M. Christensen suggested in his book Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice: “Customers don’t simply buy products or services; they “hire” them to do a particular job.”
If you want to hang a painting to a wall you might first think that you need a hammer and a nail. But this is tool-based thinking. Maybe you can skip nailing altogether. Perhaps a strong double-sided tape will do. Or a set of special hooks and wires. Or you can delegate this entire task to a maintenance person and not to worry about the tools and technique at all. Any of these options would do the job of hanging the painting for you.
Likewise, your client will not need a LSP facilitator. You as a facilitator are just one potential tools to solve their problem. Therefore – you need to ask the client – what is the problem that client actually has. And this will help you understand – what job does this client would hire you for?
Perhaps it is entertainment – if their employees have had a rough year and would like to use LEGO bricks to have fun together? Maybe they have a tough problem to solve and they have heard that LSP is great for tackling complex issues?
There are many possibilities. Ideally you can ask your clients. If there is nobody to ask then go ahead and check the SeriousPlayPro facilitator marketplace for recent job posts. Some of them might be relevant to you. What would be the jobs for what your customers would engage you? Do they need a new set of goals and values? New strategy? New knowledge? Achieve greater alignment? Resolve conflicts? Choose 1-3 of the jobs that have been the most frequent and write them down.
This short list of customer jobs will serve as your list of main market opportunities.
Step 2 – Your Strongest Capability
How are you different from other facilitators? There are thousands of people who have trained as LSP facilitators. Some of them are really good in solutions focused coaching, others have 10 years of experience as scrum masters. Some have particular industry background – retail, banking, telco. Some have worked in a particular cultural or geographic context.
Write down another short list of qualities that you think make you stand out in the crowd of all LEGO Serious Play facilitators. Try to include in your list some keywords about your 1) knowledge, 2) skills, 3) experiences, and 4) qualities. You may use my list as a source of inspiration.
Be honest. Once you have compiled your list then feel free to cross out some items that you think are not so useful for your clients and which do not show your best side. Also – highlight those what seem the most important for the client.
Those final 3-5 items will serve as something that will make you stand out. These are your strengths.
Step 3 – Your Sales Proposition
Put your two lists: market opportunities and your strengths side by side. Draw linkages between the two lists and try to identify what is it that you can promise to your customers.
Ideally the sales proposition is a single sentence and help your client to understand: “When I buy the service from … (your name) – this is the benefit that I will receive to get my job done.” For example, the client might say using my example:
“Marko will help us identify new business models in telco using his ability to look at big picture and engage people.”My example of Unique Sales Proposition
Now – once you have identified your first rough unique sales proposition idea then feel free to post your draft below this post. It is likely that you need to refine it several times. I would be happy to comment it and help to improve it. If you prefer a private answer then just send me an e-mail to the contacts you can find on my profile page.
Getting your unique sales proposition sentence right is just a first step in your facilitator sales and marketing journey. Stay tuned for the next post.