Choosing the wrong medium: Email is the medium of the transactional. It’s not the right tool for the value creator. The right tool for the value creator is a conversation. Face-to-face is the preferred medium, then video conference, then the telephone. Email is reserved for simple information exchange. Email isn’t the right tool for selling or resolving concerns. It isn’t the right medium for pricing either. It isn’t the right medium for relationships of value. Strategic level value creators choose the right medium to communicate. They don’t choose transactional mediums for important conversations.
Avoiding the big conversation: Avoiding the biggest, foulest, hairiest challenges makes you transactional. If you aren’t helping your clients with their biggest problems, their biggest challenges, their biggest threats, and their greatest opportunities, you are behaving in a way that ensures they perceive you as transactional. If you want to be consultative, a trusted advisor, or a level four value creator, you have to instigate the big conversations. This is where you create the highest level of value. If there is an elephant in the room, you give it a name. Be a catalyst and address the real issues.
Not pricing based on the value you create: If you price based on anything other than the value that you create, you are behaving transactionally. This is especially true if you try to follow your competitors on price. If you beat or match their price, you are confirming that you are transactional. Your price must be divorced from anything other than the value that you create. I’m not suggesting that this is easy. And I am not suggesting that most of the rest of the world doesn’t believe and behave differently. But pricing as if you are transactional force you to create value like you’re transactional. Pricing like you are a strategic advantage allows you to behave as such.
Not taking initiative: There aren’t too many things that will make you transactional faster than complacency. If you aren’t pushing for the next improvement, if you sink into the warm comfortable feeling of entitlement, if you rest on your laurels, some value creator will come along with the next big idea and knock you right out of your status quo. Being strategic means that you bring the next idea. You kill the status quo in the womb, before it has a chance to be born and take hold of the organization.
What are the behaviors that make you transactional?
What makes you something more than that, something strategic, like a trusted advisor or a consultative salesperson?
What behaviors do you need to change now to prevent yourself from slipping into the false comfort of complacency and the status quo?
Is your price based on the value that you create? Or is it based on something else, like your competitor’s pricing?