Turn the V/TO™ into a Marketing Tool
At first glance, it might not be obvious that an EOS® business’s Vision/Traction Organizer™ is one of its most valuable assets. In my experience as a Certified EOS Implementer®, the contents of a V/TO™ are the result of many talented people spending ample time putting it together.
Everyone understands the V/TO’s role in guiding the internal decision-making processes of a business. But it also a powerful marketing resource.
What makes the V/TO so valuable?
The V/TO is a living document. Like any living thing, the V/TO starts small. A new EOS business might fill in all the spaces in its V/TO at the end of its first Vision Building™ day, but those early choices rarely last.
The reason is simple: as a business grows, it changes. Companies usually adopt EOS as a strategy for overcoming barriers to growth. Remove the obstacles, and watch more revenue come in, more people get hired, and new vistas of opportunity open. The 3-Year Picture™ and 10-Year Target™ set at the start of an EOS journey may be inadequate after the first year.
Even a business’s Core Values and Core Focus™ can change with time, though these tend to change more slowly. Changes at the core of a company’s Vision often are refinements rather than major shifts—more on that in a bit.
Every piece of the V/TO takes a lot of work to prepare. Outlining a company’s Core Values starts with a brainstorming session that might last two hours but fine-tuning their descriptions can take many more hours of work. The same is true of every other element on the V/TO. And those are valuable hours: they pull together the combined experience and expertise of everyone on the leadership team.
The V/TO expresses your values . . . and your value.
The Marketing Strategy component of the V/TO has a prominent role in helping a business sell what it does. It puts on paper the people the business is selling to and its key selling points. For example, there’s no question that you should highlight a business’s Proven Process and guarantees in a marketing strategy.
But promoting a business by focusing only on the Marketing Strategy piece of the V/TO often neglects the human side of the business. In many cases, the company’s Core Values and Core Focus are more compelling to potential customers than its purely commercial proposition.
I’ve seen this time and again with my clients. One client, a specialty contractor, went so far as to add an extra Unique to their 3 Uniques™: a reference to their Core Values. Their CEO put it this way: “Our competitors all do similar things to what we do. What closes the deal with new clients is the way we approach our business.” In an industry like theirs, you have to deliver high-quality service on time, or you go out of business. In their case, their values of building a stronger community and establishing long-term relationships are what distinguishes them.
Put your Core Values front and center.
What the specialty contractor discovered, and what I recommend to all my clients, is that a business’s Core Values are valuable sales tools. A key reason that’s true is authenticity. If the business is marketing the values that drive it, customers will know not just what products or services they’re buying, but what kind of people stand behind them.
I’ve noticed a trend toward businesses putting their values on the landing page of their websites. It’s an idea that I think is worth exploring for every business. When everyone claims to offer the best service and the highest quality products, attracting customers who share your values can be powerful.
Putting your Core Values to work as a marketing tool can take hard work. Most businesses settle on Core Values without thinking about how they’ll look to outsiders. The EOS workbook every EOS business receives includes a long list of examples of Core Values companies can draw from. But “compassion” or “exhibits professionalism” might not have the ring a marketing pro would prefer.
Crafting values statements that resonate takes wordsmithing. Some businesses might want to bring in a talented writer with marketing experience to help them find the right words. Hiring a freelancer through a site like Upwork could help a team arrive at a set of Core Values their business will be proud to display.
Dial in your V/TO
How is your business using the resources in its V/TO? I’d love to hear about your experiences. Send me an email or give me a call at (818) 649-1103. Let’s compare notes!