Michael D. Moberly April 3, 2013 ‘A blog where attention span matters’.
Let’s accept the following as economic fact; we live, work, and conduct business transactions in an increasingly and irreversible knowledge-based global economy, where 70+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, and ‘building blocks’ for growth, sustainability, and profitability lie in – directly evolve from intangible assets!
Equally importantly, let’s also accept the business reality that the aforementioned economic fact has yet to become so self-intuitive to management teams, c-suites, and boards that they will instinctively recognize the necessity to engage in strong and consistent stewardship, oversight, and management of the intangible assets their company produces and/or acquires.
This makes all the more essential for intangible asset consultants and strategists to develop an understandable script, if you will, to help clients understand the various ways their company can elevate its value, add sources of revenue, and solidify its sustainability through better utilization of its intangible assets. This can occur not just by recognizing intangibles assets and their relevance to business profitability and market space, but by taking affirmative steps to enhance, position, bundle, and exploit intangibles.
Developing such a script, according to Dale Furtwengler, an extraordinarily intuitive St Louis-based business strategist and author of ‘Pricing for Profit: How To Command Higher Prices For Your Products and Services’, is a critical component to increasing the probability business clients will pay a premium for effective outside counsel, i.e., intangible asset strategists’, that lead to practical, tactical, and strategic clarity insofar as identifying, unraveling, enhancing, positioning, exploiting, and managing intangible assets.
Thus, the more clarity decision makers achieve from consultants and strategists regarding intangible assets their company produces or acquires and are inevitably embedded in the products and/or services they produce will (a.) lead to better – more informed decisions about the necessity to engage an intangible asset strategist, and (b.) reduce the probability that particular buying decision will be postponed.
For that to occur however, a strategists – consultants ‘script’, Mr. Furtwengler argues, and I agree, must clearly and convincingly articulate how to calculate the monetary value of the intrinsic value which a consultants’ services and/or offerings will actually provide. The premise is, clients will pay a premium for value they understand and can rapidly apply.
Usually, Mr. Furtwengler points out, when prospective buyers (of intangible asset strategists’ services, for example) find themselves unable to distinguish one strategist’s services/offerings from others, they ask about pricing. That, of course often translates as an inability to quantify the value of what may appear, to prospective clients, as competing services and/or offerings because, rather unfortunately, pricing (fees) tends to be the primary form of measurement business decision makers understand insofar as distinguishing competing offerings – services.
Furtwengler effectively argues throughout his book that client’s expect to pay more to get more, but only, if ‘getting more’ has (recognizable and actionable) value to them. So, an intangible asset strategists’ ability to command higher fees lies solely with their ability to articulate (i.e., their script) that greater value, and how to monetize that greater value to benefit clients and their respective needs.
That said, Furtwengler recognizes that independent consultants/strategists site numerous reasons and/or rationales why they are resistant to raising their fees – prices, i.e.,
- they don’t possess the brand/name awareness of larger (competing) full service consulting firms.
- their clients only express concern – care about pricing/fees.
- our competitors won’t raise their fees – prices, so we can’t.
- we will lose sales and market share if we raise our fees.
As a counter to those ill-fated rationales, Furtwengler describes six ‘value propositions’ which are what prospective buyers of consulting services really value which I have extrapolated to intangible asset strategists and consultants, i.e.,
- Innovative Image…that will accrue by purchasing intangible asset services that represent a buyer’s desire to elevate their (company) image by being associated with and being able to purchase such specialized ‘leading edge’ services.
- Integrity…reduces the amount of time required for a prospective client to make a buying decision when they’re sure the consultant/strategist is trustworthy?
- Service and Dependability…do it right the first time so clients do not lose time later for expensive remediation or complete do-overs.
- Knowledgeable spokespersons…can also constitute time savings, i.e., a consultant/strategist who knows their services extremely well and can clearly and understandably articulate those services on a ‘what fits best basis’ to help prospective clients recognize what they really want, need and value.
- Speed and Convenience…time savings and quick service.
- Friendliness…a genuinely friendly image conveyed to prospective clients.
I applaud Furtwengler for not even including in his book the conventional practice of framing service ‘pitches’ that emphasize fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD). For some intangible asset consultants and strategists, it’s difficult to resist utilizing – resorting to FUD factors, especially when a prospective client expresses a dismissive attitude about ‘all things intangible’.
If intangible asset strategists – consultants commence an engagement meeting with a strong narrative (script) that is not reliant on highly subjective FUD elements, and instead, includes a…
- forward looking focus on the importance of providing strong methodologies for…
the stewardship, oversight, and management of intangible assets, and
- sustaining control, use, ownership, and monitoring (asset) value, materiality, sustainability, and risk
…the probability of experiencing consistent enterprise-wide success increases substantially!
Each blog post is researched and written by me with the genuine intent they serve as a useful and respectful medium to elevate awareness and appreciation for intangible assets throughout the global business community. Most of my posts focus on issues related to identifying, unraveling, and sustaining control, use, ownership, and monitoring asset value, materiality, and risk. As such, my blog posts are not intended to be quick bites of information piggy-backed to other sources, or unsubstantiated commentary. Comments regarding my blog posts are encouraged and respected. Should any reader elect to utilize all or a portion of any of my posts, attribution is expected and always appreciated. While visiting my blog readers are encouraged to browse other topics (posts) which may be relevant to their circumstance or business transaction. I always welcome your inquiry at 314-440-3593 or [email protected]