Is Good Really Good Enough?
If you were asked, ‘who or what is your greatest competitive threat to accelerated growth and increasing revenue?’, would your answer come easily? Might your answer be the name of an organization with competing products or services, your lower marketing budget in comparison to other companies, or perhaps not enough or not properly trained staff?
Today when Strategic Healthcare Connections (SHC) is developing client strategic marketing plans and helping our clients identify competitive threat/s, we’re discovering that a key obstacle to their selling a product or service is not what might be expected. One of the greatest competitive threats to selling and barrier to buying is, drum roll please… the mindset that ‘good is good enough.’
Having recently watched the Olympics, the aspirational message of 'be your best' seemed to be in sharp contrast to good is good enough. I would surmise that for most Olympians, even if a medal was out of reach, their drive was to perform at their personal best—to be more than good enough. I would like to think this thinking translates to our business performance as well. That whether in sport or in business, we see good, better, and best not as synonyms, rather as comparative on a growing superlative continuum.
There has, however, been an evolution in the way people think and work. The pandemic has certainly contributed to a preponderance of change. As customers/buyers, we’re asked to be more patient with higher prices and slower service or longer wait times. As business leaders we’re expected to meet margins while working with outdated technologies, fewer staff, and workflows that are inefficient and threaten productivity. And as team members, we’re expected to move forward quickly when asked to implement tactics; tactics that are often in the absence of sound strategies.
This dichotomy of expectations as provider (organization) or recipient (buyer) is real. While we see it justifiable to lower our standards as someone responsible for the delivery of products, the expectations we have when in the role of a buyer receiving products and services remain high. When an organization is struggling, taking time to research, analyze, and plan— all part of what it takes to develop a great foundational business strategy and marketing strategy, are often seen as superfluous. We want immediate action and results, so we use good is good enough as justification for moving forward without necessarily having all the needed information, the right message, or the right reasons for doing so.
On the flip side, as a buyer, we not only need to know that the organization exists (awareness), but we also need to know how the company’s product and service is going to bring added value to us (understanding) we need to believe there is a reason for buying from one company over another, and ultimately we need to trust in the people and product we're buying from. In the absence of awareness, understanding, belief and trust, ‘good is good enough’ wins, and will kill a sale every time.
We need a balance that links the best intents of both ‘good is good enough’ and ‘be your best’. The first step is taking the time and expending the resources to develop a viable strategic plan that is fact based and executable. In many cases organizations will benefit from fresh eyes to help uncover blind spots… a trusted advisor to help identify obstacles and opportunities and to support implementation. It is incumbent on the provider/the seller to provide value propositions that outweigh and remove real or perceived hassles of buying and implementation. And, the balance of intents, in many cases, requires both the selling organization and the buyer to be willing to invest in, not cut back on people and technology where appropriate.
We can look at our circumstances and say we can't afford to invest, that 'good is good enough'. Or we can approach our circumstance with the thought that preserving or increasing revenue isn't necessarily about cost reduction. This mentality of strategic thinking, bringing in fresh eyes and resources, and investing in the technology and right people to continually grow, is a mentality that mirrors the mindset of an Olympian. While we may not win an Olympic medal, we can push beyond good is good enough—because in today's business environment better and best win every time.