Why You Need Sage Positioning

Instead of One-of-Several, be the Only Obvious Choice

In today’s talk I’d like to discuss a concept titled Sage Positioning and share why I suggest this be the aim of most businesses , business units (and for individuals within the business). When I refer to the term Sage, I mean a person of reputation so unique people are willing to climb a mountain and walk over broken glass in order to have an audience with them. This may seem extreme, but it makes the point.

When you bid for your next project or commission, are you always competing against at least 3 or 5 others, and it comes down to price in the end?

If this is the case, you don’t have Sage Positioning, meaning you are not seen as the only obvious choice to engage with directly, or a least one of two companies’ the client wants a deeper conversation with.

As an aside, on the mega projects going on in Australia at the moment, the required positioning often is one of having the largest (or sufficiently large) balance sheet so one can cover a huge Insurance bond and can rally enough staff (often becomes a bum on seat game of illusion). This may give you an advantage in the short to medium term but winning may not be winning in the end when you lose money and reputation.

The Sage Position I am referring to is based on having an Expertise, something genuinely unique to your market segment that has clients wanting to engage with you directly

I’m a firm believer that to manage a mega or very large project, it needs to be broken down into manageable parts, covering both the individual scopes and the gaps (see my post titled Intersecting Performance) and within these parts there are always opportunities to position as “The Only Logical Choice” for a body of work, based on your reputation and unique ability to solve the problem.

This is not possible when you try to be everything to everyone and say you can do everything a client wants. It all gets watered down by not being good at most disciplines resulting in a wasted opportunity to really be seen is missed. I remember a previous mentor saying, revenue is vanity; profit is sanity. I concur.

Recently I started watching the new Beatles Documentary, “Get Back” and it became obvious why Peter Jackson was the only obvious choice to be allowed to make it. It only took one conversation with Sir Paul McCartney who subsequently felt comfortable enough to have full public exposure of a difficult time in their journey (breakup point) and really showcase the talents they were. This is an example of Sage Positioning that Peter Jackson has.

Within the framework of your business, are you able to begin the focussed journey and strive for Sage Positioning?