Do You Know The Keys To Incumbency

The world reels from the prospect of either of the most unpopular and potentially unsuited candidates ever to run winning the 2016 American presidential election.

One man though, sought to clear the mist. Professor Allan Lichtman has always managed to predict who will win. Although this time, he says it is the toughest yet to call, despite having earlier said that The White House will flip.

His secret; 13 Keys.

They are a baker’s dozen of true-or-false statements. As the Washington Post sums up, “The idea is that if more than half of the keys are true, the incumbent party will stay in power, and if more than half are false, the challenging party will win the White House.”

From Mandates to Contests to Scandal to Charisma. It’s quite the list.

There has got to be something in this for the solution salesforce.

Anyone involved in a competitive arena surely knows the particular joy and pain here. Keeping a client at the hands of lothario suitors. Unseating an unworthy yet stubborn provider.

I instantly thought on a number of such reality checkers related to a competitive bid where one party is already in situ.

Executive Commitment: senior clientside management exhibit strong preference towards the incumbent

Touch Points: those involved day-to-day with the incumbent are happy with their dealings

Businesses Entwined: there is a close adhesion from operating procedures

Service History: solid track record of response and remedy exists

Strategic Fit: the incumbent is aligned with the stated business aims of the client

Trusted Advisor: the client actively seeks opinions from within the incumbent

Future-Proofing: the supplier develops to support tomorrow’s aims

Demonstrable Benefits: tangible and intangible results are both perceived and documented

Supplier Tenacity: when under threat measures are advanced to stay in contract

Change Propensity: the customer does not exhibit strong desires to switch suppliers

Sweet Spot: the opportunity remains/shows closer affinity with incumbent ideal customer profile

Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal.

I couldn’t resist that last being one of Professor Lichtman’s.

There’s also perhaps the most misleading one. One of my favourite stats around this once suggested no-one really ever switches supplier on cost. Which we all probably accept. Indeed, the precise finding posits that lower price only becomes an issue if it were 20% less. An eye-watering differential.

So the extent to which price tag could be one is potentially skewed.

Price: significantly lower price is not explicitly desired

So there’s my immediate, sample thirteen. They become both a security assessment when in place and a qualification checklist when seeking to replace.

If you can boil down your own bidding to such a set of Keys, then you too can expect – in quicker and more productive time – to keep/win more customers.

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