The X (award)-factor


February, 2018

When I talk to people about commerce, the term 'distinctive character' regularly falls. There is often the idea that, good quality, a competitive price and a personal approach are unique criteria that the customer falls for. Personally, I see it somewhat differently; the aforementioned matters are certainly important, but in the sense that they are standard conditions that you, as a supplier, are expected to meet and where the customer may more or less assume. Really distinctive is something that is more in ourselves, which is about who we are, what we radiate and the personal interaction we have with our discussion partners.

Even in the current times of change, dynamism, online profiling, etc. customers often buy from you personally in the end, because they grant you just a bit more than anyone else.

When I say this I always get applause, everyone agrees, it seems. In practice, however, there is often not much of it and we are just busy with the same traditional approach as always and we worry about the correct specifications, price, delivery time etc. We pay far too little attention to it.

This phenomenon; The X-factor (or the award-factor), of course, is also something elusive and is nowhere literally included in the selection purchaser’s criteria or the tendering of a service or product. I am convinced that in many cases the X-factor was indeed the decisive reason that the assignment fell with the party that had paid a lot of attention to this.

The point is that the X-factor is only applicable when the relevant purchasing party first meets (at least for the most part) the aforementioned basic criteria that were determined. But because the competition often performs surprisingly better than we thought, the fight has not yet been fought.

I can make my point even clearer if I turn it around. Imagine that as a selling party you meet all the basic criteria of the buying party, but unfortunately for you ... you do not have the X-factor. Do you think you still get the order?
That is why it is so important to spend enough time and energy on the personal relationship with your (potential) customer. Having the right click, and building mutual trust with the person who is decisive in the purchase process.