Do You Know Why Your Customers Buy?

Marketing, Messaging, Sales

Most companies know what their unique selling proposition is, but a dominant selling idea (DSI) is a stronger version of the concept – a unifying, energizing, focusing, trust-building, clutter-removing, lean-value-creating notion. It’s a motivating difference at the moment of the purchase decision that communicates our #1 position in a “desirable specialty” that’s important to our target customers.Unless we’re able to define our DSI, we won’t be able to attach it to our brand; thereby fusing our name to a #1 specialty in the customer’s mind.

First, we must articulate our clear, ownable specialty. To view our company as #1 at something, customers must first relate us to a specialty category, even if we have to invent it! The idea isn’t just to identify our broad category, but to define a specialty in which we are (or can be) #1. We start by identifying all of the sub-specialties in our niche (e.g., quickest, best value, most advanced, best quality, most energy efficient) and their possible combinations (e.g., advanced and durable). Ideally, an effective DSI will possess five selling attributes: superlative, important, believable, memorable, and tangible. When combining the five attributes into a succinct DSI, we create a dynamic, memorable selling idea that we can connect with our name.

As leaders of companies, we must understand our DSI, and how to clearly communicate it to others. Not only do we set the example; we have the opportunity to invite our teams into the process. Regardless of how long our companies have been operating, and what our revenues look like, it’s important to take time with our key leaders and work on our DSI. For some of us, that may mean documenting one for the first time, while others of us may benefit from refreshing the DSI with our teams. Either way, when our organizations have further clarity on why we are different than the competition and how to communicate that distinction, our companies are more aligned for growth.

To see examples of recognizable DSIs and a template to develop your own, download this free DSI workshop tool.

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  • Kevin Miller Bio

    With over a decade of experience in marketing leadership, brand management, and business development, Kevin has helped numerous companies refine and implement plans to create exponential growth.

    Prior to joining C12, Kevin led a successful Florida-based brand strategy consulting business focused on growing small and medium-sized businesses. Entrepreneurial in spirit, Kevin also has a diverse background in launching start-ups as well as helping struggling or stagnant businesses develop a new course of action. His experience incorporates knowledge from multiple industries including textile manufacturing and design, medicine, real estate, technology, web development, and the creative arts.

    After attending the University of Central Florida where he studied Music Performance, Kevin became involved in worship arts and youth ministries, serving for several years in various leadership roles. He and his wife Beth, an elementary school administrator, have been married since 2000. Together with two sons Kyle and Kamden, they enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities including hiking, hunting, fishing, and backpacking.

  • Troy Blackmon Bio

    Troy came to The C12 Group in 2008, with a diverse background in executive leadership, sales development, team building, and operations. Through his role as VP of Field Operations, he is committed to serve, equip and encourage CEOs and business owners to lead thriving companies that honor the Lord and serve people.

    During his tenure at Chick-fil-A, Inc. Troy learned that business excellence and glorifying God in the marketplace go hand in hand. Troy managed a P&L of $35+ million in revenue and coached business owners in operational excellence and improving financial results.

    In addition, Troy has been involved in leading small group ministry, including planting a church in Seattle, WA. Troy was formerly Partner at OneAccord, a management-consulting firm focused on accelerating revenue for mid-market companies. While at OneAccord, Troy was privileged to work with numerous technology companies in senior leadership positions, managing sales, marketing, and business development activities. Troy most recently served as the President of a technology private equity group, where he led the management teams of 4 portfolio businesses.

    Troy is married to his high school sweetheart, Shanna, and has been blessed with 4 children. He enjoys golf, cycling, and mountain biking with his family.

  • Mike Sharrow Bio

    Mike joined C12 as a member in 2010 while serving as an executive pastor for a large church in Texas and owner of a healthcare strategy consulting group.  Prior to that, he had served in a variety of leadership roles in both operations and sales corporately for the Walgreen Company, financial services as well as strategic development work with Health by Design.  In 2011 he exited his commitments to join the local C12 practice in San Antonio as an associate chair serving CEOs across that market.  In 2013 he and a partner acquired the greater Central Texas region and stewarded it as it grew to a team of 8 full-time chairmen serving nearly 150 leaders.  Mike is passionate about collaboration, strategic planning, Gospel initiatives and BHAG endeavors.

    With a background spanning Fortune 50 corporate settings, startups, non-profit and local church, Mike has been discipled into an integrated life perspective around the calling all believers share to be disciple-making disciples and ambassadors of Christ across all vocations and contexts.  It was in 2005 when God revealed to Mike the perils of a “sacred versus secular” duality in life and since then he’s been on the adventure of living one life in Christ, with work as worship, business as ministry and life as mission.

    Mike grew up in Alaska, graduated from Trinity International University and the Loyola Graduate School of Business.  He married his bijou of an Iowa farmers daughter, Jacqui, in 2002 and they have 2 girls, Elayna and Sophia.