A Better, Simplified Business Strategy | Chris Rolls Speaker Review
Over the last 18 months or so one question has been circling around Chris Roll’s mind.
What is strategy?
He has researched, read books on strategy, interviewed “strategy experts” around the world and has discovered that there are so many definitions of strategy. There’s PR strategy, marketing strategy, sales strategy. But what Chris wanted was to find a definition that applied to all businesses.
Then one day he found a definition of strategy that was so good, so simple, that he needed to share it with as many people as possible.
Chris Rolls’ presentation at the STAFFLINK Conference 2022 gave him this opportunity to share what he has learnt about strategy and it was enormously insightful and relevant to anyone, no matter what industry.
Who is Chris Rolls?
Chris is the Managing Director of PIELab, which invests in other businesses and helps them grow. Chris is an entrepreneur, investor and self-professed business geek, Chris has built and exited four businesses across four different industries.
His experience gives him a demonstrated ability to grow, invest in, and most importantly exit businesses across multiple industries.
He knows what he’s talking about. And when he says that he’s found the best definition of strategy, then it definitely is.
A Better Simpler Strategy
The definition of strategy that Chris realised was the simplest and the best is this.
Strategy is a plan to create value.
“That could be value for your customers, value for your employees, value for your suppliers.
That’s all it is. A plan to create value.”
Value is defined as the gap between what people are willing to pay and what people are willing to sell. So you can increase value by increasing willingness-to-pay, and you can also increase value by decreasing willingness-to-sell.
Willingness to Pay
How can you get your clients/customers to pay more for your services? It is a well-known and accepted fact that you don’t want to be competing on price alone. If that is the value that your business provides then every price rise brings significant risks of losing clients.
It is far better to focus on how your business can increase your customers’ willingness-to-pay instead.
This is easier said than done, particularly as cost-of-living pressures are at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds. But this is the challenge that property management agencies must face head on. Remember that landlords are trusting you to manage something really important to them.
In many cases they are trusting you with their livelihood, particularly with smaller property investors.
Imagine if a PM contacted a landlord and informed them that based on their market research, an investment of $10, 000 for a bathroom upgrade could realistically expect to increase their rental income by $100/ week. They would pay off the cost of the upgrade in less than two years and be left with a more valuable asset.
Would they be willing to pay more for this type of service than another PM agency who didn’t? That’s creating value.
Willingness to Sell
The other way to create value is by decreasing willingness-to-sell. Chris told the story of a South African health insurance company that offered all new customers a big discount at a major health food store if they signed on.
While this seems at first like an example of increasing their customer’s willingness-to-pay, which is undoubtably is, Chris told this story to demonstrate a different point.
The biggest cost for health insurance companies are claims payouts. Sick and injured people. What this insurance company was doing by offering the discount at the health food store was trying to address this. Not by doing anything dodgy like seeking to avoid paying out claims, but avoiding them in the first place.
What kind of people are motivated or persuaded by a discount at a health food store? Healthy people, the exact kind of customers that this insurance company wanted to attract.
By decreasingly their willingness-to-sell (their insurance payouts) they had created value.
Why Chris’ Speech Really Resonated with Us
Chris is an excellent public speaker, and has a great skill in turning complicated concepts and ideas into simple, easily understood ones. His understanding of strategy is highly relevant for any industries, but we really wanted to highlight the significance of his presentation for property management.
How can PM agencies better use Chris’ definition of strategy to increase what their clients are willing to pay, and decrease their suppliers/partners are willingness to sell?
How can you take your customer service to the next level so that clients will choose your business over the cheaper alternative?
Our advice? Get a support system in place where you have the admin tasks assisted offshore, so that your clients get the customer service they deserve from your team.
With the admin tasks being cared for, your Property Managers and Sales teams can focus on customer facing tasks.
Furthermore, get the right platforms and workflows in place within your Agency to gain end-to-end visibility of your business, giving you the visuals to understand when and where additional support is needed, and who is not performing to company expectations.
STAFFLINK’s Airtable platform was developed by industry experts who understand the importance of one process to stabilise an agency and the additional support staff that’s needed to drive an Agency forward.
By using STAFFLINK’s workflow platform, 20% of the Rate My Agent Top 100 list were able to exceed with their customer service and gain recognition in 2022.
That percentage is bigger than last year, and we fully expect it to be bigger again in 2023 as more and more agencies realise how much the inefficiencies in their workflow is negatively impacting on their customer service.