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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  July 08, 2014

Find Your Most Profitable Place

In my market strategy work, I look for one thing: the gap between what buyers want and what other competitors think they provide. Right below any crack between those two points is a fabulous opportunity. If my client has the expertise, that opening becomes the focal point of all brand and messaging.

An excellent example of these nooks and crannies is this Spring post by business futurist Joyce Gioia at The Herman Group. Think about it: employers have been griping for years about college grads. Universities think they are solving the problem but they are not. Enter eHellium, a recruitment and training firm focused on “graduate employability and market readiness.” That’s how a booming business is born.

This is one of those situations where the sharpest knife can’t carve its own handle. Here’s why: we believe we are solving a problem because of the passion for our solution. Our friends and colleagues (even clients) buy into our passion and agree with us, skewing our “market research.” But put that solution out there and the market responds with crickets chirping. Buyers don’t agree, don’t believe us, or don’t consider the problem worth our price point.

To further complicate matters, not all gaps are created equal. Some are more lucrative than others and many of us — not knowing the difference — naturally latch onto the first gap we find. So the next time you go hunting for new clients, ask yourself: where are the assumptions? What do folks need but really are not getting?

 

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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.