Simon Cowell is the Idols judge we love to hate. He’s mean, but he’s clear. He says what everyone else was thinking but was afraid to say. Well I bet if Simon was looking at your company’s marketing and sales efforts, he’d tell you the same thing he tells 90% of the contestants (that actually have talent):

“You just don’t have the X-Factor.”

That line became such a big part of his schtick that it got its own TV series – and deservedly so.


When it comes to standing out from the crowd, the x-factor is EVERYTHING.


On Idols, the one thing that all contestants had in order to get out of the audition phase is the ability to sing, in this context, singing is the Y axis, it’s the category. Sadly though, an ability to sing is not enough to get people to buy your records, there needs to be something on the X-axis too. Something remarkable.


The same is true for our businesses. We exist at the intersection of Y and X.
x-factor access according to Rich Mulholland

Some people would call the X-Factor USP – Unique Selling Proposition. However, we have found that that is not enough. It needs to be a UPS – a Unique Problem only you can Solve. That’s where the magic happens. The moment the customer feels that they have a problem, that only you can solve for them, they need you.
I’ve done a video explaining this in more detail:

Take my business, Missing Link. We are Persuasion Specialists. This often manifests as presentations of some sort. On the Y-axis of presentations are pretty slides and training. Obviously, we do that stuff – but that just gets us in the conversation. What wins us way more than our fair share of deals is the X-axis: presentation strategy. We just have to convince our clients that they don’t have an ugly slide problem, they have a narrative problem. Fix the narrative and the slides fix themselves (with a wee bit of help).

This is easy to convince people of, because, well, it’s so obviously true.
 Here’s the reality check. Your business exists at the corner of X and Y, your client can’t find you if they don’t know that intersection. And they can’t know that intersection if you and your team don’t.

This is something that my team and I would like to help you with. Whether you simply read or listen to my book (links) Here Be Dragons and figure this out yourselves, or let us turn on our StorySelling engine for you and really take it to the next level, I strongly believe that this should be your focus. If you want to book some time, you can do so here and we’ll make it happen.

Now, you have read this far, you deserve a reward. Here’s seven minutes of Simon at his worst (best):