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Turning a point of view into a sales pitch

Here is an example of how Debbie worked with one team to develop a strong POV for CEOs of hospitals, founded on both the company POV and using the Problem–Solution–Benefit method I outlined in Chapter 11.

This was the structure we insisted on them using:

· What was the client problem? Illustrate the downside costs of not taking action. Translate this into clear needs. (Problem.)

· What was the G4S solution? What were the features and advantages? (Solution.)

· What was the benefit? (As described by the G4S customer.) (Benefit.)

Was third party validation available? Could actual results and numbers be used? Set the context.

Always use the line: Transforming challenges into opportunities.

And here was how they translated it into an opportunity in hospitals. By recognizing the wider picture, the high-level needs of the customer, and linking this to the G4S POV, it enabled them to elevate their conversations to board-level decision makers:

· Challenge? (They didn’t like using the word problem.) For the healthcare sector, work-related violence is a serious occupational hazard. And the human cost – physical/psychological pain – brings real cost in monetary terms. Question marks over staff and patient safety undermine productivity and reputation. With it, the sustainability of a hospital itself can come under scrutiny. But measures to deter acts of violence and aggression must address the root causes of the problem: prevention rather than cause. And they must balance the operational requirements of a hospital with proper care for its patients.

Here they are addressing the issues and needs of the board of the hospital – reputation, future funding and effectiveness. All based on the G4S POV that we can only thrive and prosper in a safe and secure environment.

· Solution? G4S knows that managing violence and aggression involves a range of actions at key touch points; it is more than just security. Measures to reduce violence are based on sound risk assessment to identify ‘incident triggers’ – a complex combination of personal or situational reasons such as fear, anxiety, frustration, medical conditions, drugs or alcohol. All against a backdrop of increasing patient expectations. Staff deserve dedicated training to deal with triggers and to encourage reporting – with effective systems and processes in place to ensure learning. And those affected should have adequate access to support such as counselling, to better deal with the consequences. This is a wider approach that comes from experience.

Smart – this part demonstrates that the simple solution of guards at a desk will not be enough to deal with the problem; it requires a much more integrated approach.

· Benefit? A realistic reduction in incidents by 20 per cent and in the impact of aggression by 10 per cent can see a hospital rank amongst the safest. For staff, a safer environment brings improved confidence and morale, less occupational stress and the ability to get on with the job in hand. For patients and visitors, action to reduce the routes of frustration means improved levels of care and reassurance in often difficult times. And for the hospital itself, optimum productivity, fewer compensation claims, reduced staff absenteeism and replacement costs, and improved retention make for a better bottom line. And a far healthier reputation.

Again, smart. This moves the conversation to the future sustainability of the hospital – the main concern of the CEO, not the procurement department or the head of security.

· Call to action? Improved management of health and safety risks is vital in a dynamic healthcare sector. By focusing on the opportunity in every challenge and starting with the bigger picture, we offer solutions that deliver more than the sum of the parts – ensuring the safe and secure workplace that staff deserve, the service the public rightly expects and the performance that stakeholders demand. Let us help you see the opportunity in the challenge of securing your world.

Call us – we can help you satisfy all of the people to whom you are accountable.

Point of view, storytelling and powerful conversations are all connected, as you have seen in this example. From their POV, G4S was able to construct more compelling stories that enabled higher-level conversations with prospective clients. A POV can help in other ways, too. Giving expression to a POV can, for example, provide clarity around a sense of purpose.

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