How to Establish Your Role

Last week’s tip of the week talked about positioning yourself for success and staking your claim.  In addition to staking your claim, you use the positioning play to establish your role.  The purpose of the first is to find balance between generality and specificity; the purpose of the second is to claim the high ground.

So let’s talk about choosing the right balance between generality and specificity.  Your claim should be general enough to cover the position you want, but not be so broad as to be confusing.  Understanding the scope and scale of your position can eliminate confusion.  Scope is the range of understanding or the extent of action that is possible, and scale is a measure of size, proportion and dimension.

For an example of scope let’s use a life insurance sales person.  If you were a life insurance sales person, claiming a position as a business consultant would misdirect conversations, waste your time and erode the power of your primary purpose which is to sell life insurance policies.  On the other hand, positioning yourself as a financial consultant leads to conversations that help you discover opportunity and meet the needs of your suspect.  In this example, positioning as a life insurance agent may be too narrow, positioning as a business consultant too broad, but positioning as a financial consultant or a financial planner solves the question of scope with the right balance between generality and specificity.

Scale too must balance generality and specificity.  In the example of our life insurance sales person, deal size defines the target audience.  The target audience may be young married couples that the life insurance agent can grow with over time, or the target audience might be established wage earners.  Defining the scale helps to define the target audience and the conversations you will have with suspects in the target audience.

Another principle of establishing your role is to claim the high ground.  Claiming the high ground means that the language of positioning uses qualitative terms to show how your product or service is superior to that of your competitor.  Examples of language that establish the high ground include; my company specializes in or, our company is the global leader when it comes to or, we deliver the best quality in the industry.  Claiming the high ground positions you as a cut above the competition and establishes your Strategic Excellence Position.

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  8. […] establishing a position in your prospect’s mind. You are defining who you are and letting them know why they should buy […]

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