Method Mapping – The Secret Revealed

March 23, 2008 5:24 pm

It doesn’t matter what business you are in, you have your own way of doing things, your own methodology, your own unique process.

This is your secret formula. Only, why keep it a secret?

Documenting what makes you different.

Your unique method of doing things is what makes you different from every one of your competitors. Without that point of difference, you’re selling a commodity product. Which means the only way you’re going to get the sale, is to sell for less. And that’s no way to grow a business and build a brand. What you want to do is put your unique way of providing quality and value on paper, as a step-by-step process.

We call it Method Mapping™. Simply put, it means documenting “how” you do what you do, not just “what” you do for your customers.

Method mapping gives prospects something tangible upon which to choose you over others. Potential customers can see the logic of your methodology and they can appreciate the time-tested, organized thinking that produced it.

Make it a team effort.

Don’t get me wrong. I know that it isn’t easy to document the process that makes your company and its output uniquely valuable. But the rewards are invaluable, and the journey can be equally invaluable for everyone involved. So do just that. Involve everybody. It will help refine your company practices, help define areas of responsibility, and expose areas of weakness.

Getting your entire team involved in documenting your methodology has a few secondary benefits as well. People tend to take for granted how important their role is, and how unique your methods of operation are. By documenting the process, everyone’s true worth is revealed.

New team members gain a true understanding of your business model. And experienced members of your team are helped to achieve a new level of coordinated effort, with more defined roles and less duplication of effort.

The final challenge.

Getting it on paper is good. Giving it life is better. After you distinguish your company by documenting your unique process, the final step is putting it in a form that can easily be understood and appreciated by prospective clients.

The best way to do this is to craft your unique step-by-step process into a progressive diagram, or by giving it some other visual form that allows you to present it quickly and confidently. Remember, your end goal is to get something on paper that is easy to follow, truly sets you apart, and has dramatic impact upon presentation. Here are three suggestions to guide the process.

  1. Break your methodology down into no more than 10 steps.
  2. Present your methodology in the form of a diagram or a logical progression of activities. Make your Method Map as graphically appealing as possible.
  3. Make certain your presentation of process comes to a successful conclusion that clearly fulfills your company’s promise to its customers.

Can it be done? You bet. We have a number of clients who have mapped out their methodology and are using it to generate new business on a regular basis. Some we had to help more than others, but every one of them is thrilled with what Method Mapping has done for their brand image and bottom line.

About The Author

Delia Team
We specialize in b2b, supporting the clients who are the "The Brands Behind the Brands." These are the supply chain partners of brands, either in Tier 1 or Tier 2 positions, who drive value through the delivery of goods, services and technologies. We enjoy blogging about all things related to Branding, Marketing, Inbound, Tradeshows, etc... And we're always happy to talk about any ideas you may have that might Get You To Your NEXT!