KODA finds some inspiration (and validation) in a great article from this month’s Inc. magazine. In an article titled ‘Hunting Big Game’, Adam Bluestein offers some great advice for how to win that first big contract.
Hunting Big Game
Four key pieces of advice are discussed and, using the framework of the article, let’s see if we can dissect them and see how KODA is putting these principles to work.
Find the Decision Makers
Sometimes, you think your message is getting to the right people. You’ve got to get your message in front of the right people. KODA’s advice is to be persistent. Pull on your entire network, but acknowledge that the most traction will come from those people in your network who you deserve to have in your network. What do I mean by this? Well, they are the people you’ve earned the respect of. You’ve earned their trust, delivered for them (or people they trust) before and as a result, they will be a strong advocate for your offering. If some of those contacts are the same people who are decision makers, or who can influence decision makers, then you’re in with a good chance of getting that first meeting.
Keep Innovation in Context
Getting the audience is one thing, communicating a useful message is even more important. The simplest advice for achieving this is to communicate a message that has some meaning to the prospective client.
KODA agrees, and goes to great lengths to not just price their product, but to describe how aspects of its product create value. There are a number of ways to do this, but one simple, and powerful way is to say: “This is priced at $200,000, and will conservatively, in the context of your specific project save you $600,000.” You’re ultimately saying: “I’m giving this to you for free, and you get $400,000 on the side – maybe a lot more if we work together to ensure you get better than the conservative estimates.”
I’ll admit that it’s a tough world these days when it comes to pricing. It’s hard to sell oranges to a cost focused project that only sees the world as having apples in it. Having an effective way of describing your orange in the language of apples is a start. Articulate the differences, merits and start talk more in terms of net price: price minus benefit.
De-Risk Your Business
No aspiring client of KODA should feel like it is taking a risk on us. With that in mind, KODA questions whether size, runs on the board, revenue and/or employee count is limiting way of quantifying and therefore assessing risk? What about ‘they’ve done it before, so can do it again’…?
KODA is de-risking its business by creating a collective of suppliers, collaborators and clients whose mutual efforts are all pointed towards growing KODA. From a hardware perspective, look no further than Leica’s total stations, Phoenix Contact and Campbell Scientific’s PLCs, power supplies, industrial PCs and sensor interfaces or Sherborne’s amazing dual axis level sensors. KODA has integrated all of these world class companies to create its cohesive hardware solution. What about software? KODA’s place in Austin, Texas (often called the second Silicon Valley of the US) is fortuitous. A growing, collaborative effort with an Austin-based software development company is there for those things you simply can’t buy ‘off-the-shelf’. With all the ideas we have, and all those we expect to have in the future, we’ve established these ‘federations of capability’ with a view to creating a cascading, continuous path of rapid, reliable product development.
What about this ‘they’ve done it before’ mentality? In some ways it is restrictive to think about suppliers this way because…if you let them…they’ll probably keep doing the same old thing again – yawn. The risk you end up introducing here is direct and immediate loss of potential gains to your project – from day one. If you want something new, interesting and which ultimately adds real value to your project, then look for a company that has: a) experience and ideas, b) dedicated and involved leadership, c) is thinking about the future, and d) is so eager to deliver it that they are about to explode.
Play the Long Game
KODA respects that the decision to purchase one of our systems is not a fleeting decision. Nor should it be. On significant construction and mining projects, the number of machines and timeframe over which they are used means that the smallest wins can accumulate gradually to create gigantic value to a project – especially if they are fine tuned to maximize compatibility with all the other expensive decisions you are making regarding infrastructure, communications, human resources and work processes.
Every company delivers projects differently, and KODA is keen to work with you in fine tuning its offering to ensure that the benefits of using its systems are maximized. If you’re planning to work with KODA, expect plenty of follow up calls, and long emails. We’ll ask plenty of questions and push you pretty hard sometimes – but it’s all for a good reason.
Yes, KODA is boot-strapping; and proud to be. It’s that principle which makes us responsive, dedicated, focused, lean, appreciative and agile – ready and able to deliver.
Thanks for your on-going interest. I’d love to hear more about your experiences, so please like, share, follow and we look forward to comments.
Until next time, KODA