Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

The Prophet in His Own House DOES Count!

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

“A prophet counts for nothing in his own house.” You may know this saying from the Bible. It is often only too true—and it doesn’t apply to your own company alone. How often in our projects do we confirm insights that had already been gained internally in a similar way, but not taken seriously? How few clients do we have in Dortmund and the Ruhr in comparison to significantly more distant locations and to the world in general? Munich, Hamburg, Hanover, and also Zürich, Prague, Warsaw, Vienna, Amsterdam, Estonia, and London are but a few of the places outside Dortmund where we have project partners. But we are a “given” in Dortmund. A potential client in Dortmund once said to me that he would not hire a Dortmund consultancy because we are all probably networked together, and he was concerned that internal matters would get out. You need say no more.

Across from Mandat is the main office of Elmos, a chip-maker whose chips are built into virtually every automobile in the world. These chips are produced directly across from us, in our technology park. Is this appreciated? No, it’s just Elmos; you,ve certainly heard of them. Diagonally across from Mandat sits the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics, one of the world’s leading institutes in the field of logistics. It recently received a royal visit from the Netherlands. Are they really so important? You bet they are. Those are two examples from our immediate surroundings.

Look around. What you take for granted might be quite impressive to others. What your own people tell you will be right more often than you think. Also, talk up your company, about how special it is. Because possibly, the people with whom you regularly associate, the people in all your networks will not have that on their radar. We’re always saying such things, too. There is excellent guidance toward growth to be had in Dortmund, and you don’t have to be headquartered in Munich or Düsseldorf to get it.

© 2014, Prof. Dr. Guido Quelle, Mandat Consulting Group, Dortmund, London, New York. All rights reserved.

Customers Want to Know: Not What You Do, but What You Achieve

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

What do the three following statements have in common?

“For 17 years, we have been experts in systematically-managed change.”
“We have more than 12 years’ experience in product development.”
“We advise customers worldwide in project management.”

Correct: They are egocentric, they lack output, and so they tell us nothing. Yet statements of this kind are the usual practice when consultants talk about themselves. “What do you do?” —”We advise businesses in . . .” I see. End of conversation.

Next to statements of value (how much better off is the client or customer after working with a consultant?), results—the numbers—are the most important thing. Have a look at consultants’ web sites: Who we are, our vision, what we do, blah, blah, blah. Customers and clients don’t want input, they want output. Results are what they seek, not mere activity. Consultants remain uninteresting as long as they talk about themselves. I would rather retain a video-production agency that tells me of results it has achieved for its customers, than hire one that tells me how terrific it is. A PR agency that tells me all about whom they have worked with and all the things that they do? No, I prefer an agency that says to me that they have understood our business and are in a position to get results.

Consultants who are always saying how fantastic they are should instead invest the same amount of time asking their customers what they value most. That would be a first step.

© 2014, Prof. Dr. Guido Quelle, Mandat Consulting Group, Dortmund, London, New York. All rights reserved.