It’s easy to lose sight of the REAL advantage of being an incumbent – the opportunity to delight a captive audience who has already chosen to buy from you.
Music industry charts are full of one-hit wonders; remember Soft Cell (Tainted Love), Dexys Midnight Runners (Come On Eileen), Nena (99 Luftballoons) and The Knack (My Sharona)? All of these artists produced plenty of other music, it’s just that none of it made the big time quite like these monster hits managed to do. There are many others too, who worked very, very hard for years and years to get their big break, rode on the crest of their one hit single for quite a while, but just couldn’t crack the top of the charts a second time.
Likewise, business-to-business markets are littered with incumbents who didn’t make it past the first contract term.
When you already have the business, it’s easy to get comfortable, and lose sight of the most important thing that's going to help you keep it.
One your biggest advantages as an incumbent supplier is ACCESS – you can get in front of the customer more easily, and go deeper inside the organisation with new ideas in a way that competitors would find very difficult to replicate.
As the incumbent, you worked hard to get to where you are. Let’s make sure you stay there.
|Robyn Haydon is a business development consultant specialising in business won through formal bids, tenders and proposals. She is the author of two books on proposals and sales, including Winning Again: a retention game plan for your most important contracts and customers. Read more about it here.|