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Why selling your products is a bad idea

Why selling your products is a bad idea

Valcort 35 Keys to Business Growth:  #4  Have a clear understanding of how each of your products and services relate to the other and to the company as a whole.” I watched as my 10 year-old son dug around in a bin of hundreds of small and odd shaped little pieces. He turned a red plastic block in his hand - shiny, triangular, smaller than his fingernail. It was a cool shape. He studied it and quickly placed it on the growing geometry of blocks. He pulled out another piece, imagined it, then ...

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Listen (to the voice of your customers)

Listen (to the voice of your customers)

Valcort 35 Keys to Business Growth: #3 Clearly understand your customers’ unmet needs, their frustrations, and what they look for in products and services like yours. Last year, when we talked to the senior leaders of a manufacturing firm with a large footprint in a niche market, we sensed concern, even a little despair. The brands they were selling to businesses were well known and recognized as quality products.  But customers were pressing them on price and turning to competitors, often with...

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What People Believe Matters

What People Believe Matters

Valcort 35 Keys to Growth: #2 Know what customers, distributors, shareholders, vendors and employees believe about your company.  Let’s face it. You act on what you believe to be true. Last week I decided to purchase a watch as a birthday gift for my wife. As I was thinking about where to purchase it, my mind ran through a mental list of potential stores. My perceptions, my beliefs, about each of these retailers, influenced my decision about where I should to go to find the perfect gift. My bel...

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The Importance of a Vision Statement

The Importance of a Vision Statement

#1. Have a motivating and achievable vision statement that drives critical business decisions. In one of the best-known passages from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice asks the Cheshire Cat-- "Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat. "I don't much care where---" said Alice. "Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat. "---So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as a...

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The Sharp Edges of Strategy and Business

The Sharp Edges of Strategy and Business

Sorting through some of my father’s tools yesterday, I ran into three old auger bits. Rusty as they are, they are impressive tools, intentionally designed, and carefully made by a metal-worker with one purpose in mind: to help a carpenter make a hole. Running my fingers over a 75-year-old, rusty bit, it was still surprisingly sharp on the edges, very capable of cutting through an 8 by 8 post today. The sharp and pointed smallest tip threads had been carefully forged to grab a crack in the har...

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Three Principles of Greatness

Three Principles of Greatness

Whether you’re beginning a business from scratch, re-creating an existing organization, or looking to take a company from acceptable to extraordinary, there are three core principles that great operations share--core beliefs that impact management style, communications and use of resources. 1. Truth builds trust Knowing what is true is the basis for taking action, making any purchase or investment.  When organizations seek and speak the truth at all times, regardless whether it’s good or ba...

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Delivering Value at Every Point of Contact

Delivering Value at Every Point of Contact

Can you think of the last time you were amazed by your experience as a customer? If it involved a product, its performance probably exceeded your expectations, time and time again.  If it was a service, the personal contact most likely left you feeling like someone who matters, or amazed by the speed of service or the value you received for your money. Are your customers amazed by their experiences with your company? At The Valcort Group, we hear a lot of different answers from companies ...

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Trust: The Essential Currency of Commerce

Trust: The Essential Currency of Commerce

What is the most important asset in business?  This question is something like the old desert island query:  “If you were on a remote desert island and could have one thing, what would it be?:  It is said that the renowned British satirist turned theologian G.K. Chesterton was asked along with others in a group discussion what book he’d want to have if he were stranded on an island.  Admirers in the group expected him to name a great literary classic or deep exploration of the faith. Instead, ...

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The CEO’s Transformation Roll-out

The CEO’s Transformation Roll-out

By Chuck Thomas, president, The Valcort Group Change has come to your company, division or unit. As the CEO, you’ve done all the research, all the strategy and planning, and the executive team is on board. Now, how do you get your broad employee base to change behaviors to better align to the customer and market? There is no quick fix.  It’s quite impossible for employees to digest all the research and planning information with one email or one presentation.  Remember, it took you months,...

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Who do you trust?

Who do you trust?

Reversing the pervasive loss of trust in American life Who do you trust? In the public square, that’s a more troubling question than it should be. There isn’t enough trust to go around and nearly every institution—government, media, business, sport, and even churches and charities--are responsible and suffering the impact. All of these institutions have one thing in common.  They are all human institutions. Government doesn’t violate laws, the people who should act as our public servants do...

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