(Graham Brown mobileYouth) Don’t Teach a Pig to Sing: Why you should master the internal sale first when selling technology
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(Graham Brown mobileYouth) Don’t Teach a Pig to Sing: Why you should master the internal sale first when selling technology

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There is an old adage that you shouldn’t teach a pig to sing. ...

There is an old adage that you shouldn’t teach a pig to sing.

It wastes your time, and it annoys the pig.

Sometimes when I present to technology companies I have to remind myself.

Selling technology isn’t about technology but about people, and some people can be pigs.

Don’t teach a pig to sing

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(Graham Brown mobileYouth) Don’t Teach a Pig to Sing: Why you should master the internal sale first when selling technology (Graham Brown mobileYouth) Don’t Teach a Pig to Sing: Why you should master the internal sale first when selling technology Document Transcript

  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org Don't Teach a Pig to Sing: Why you should master the internal sale first when selling technology IT ANNOYS THE PIG There is an old adage that you shouldn’t teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and it annoys the pig. Sometimes when I present to technology companies I have to remind myself. Selling technology isn't about technology but about people, and some people can be pigs. Don't teach a pig to sing Don't teach a pig to sing 1 / 10
  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org CHANGE: THE "C" WORD I've been working in brand and marketing since the late 1990s when we still believed in the power of Big Advertising, The Pepsi Generation and girls on roller skates handing out freebies on campus. Times have changed but people not necessarily so. Many friends, clients and colleagues in the technology industry have my ear so I get to hear a lot about their daily trials and tribulations. "I feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall" "They just don't get it" "I should just pack up my papers and leave" Dealing with change in companies, whether as a manager within these organizations or as a consultant to them can be frustrating. People don’t like change. Friends end up expending extraordinary amounts of time and effort (not to say at least heartache) trying to convince people at all levels of the importance of change whether that be spending a little less on advertising to invest more in grass roots marketing, cutting back on celebrity endorsements or making customer service a spearhead of your marketing strategy. To these people, the brave warriors who ply the halls of clients and their own departments trying to keep their brands relevant and competitive while the bureaucracy of the organization tries to bring them back to Earth, I say this... You are not mad. More From Graham Brown's Series on How to Sell Technology Change Your Metaphors: How great leaders sell technology 2 / 10
  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org These 2 Social Experiments Show How Stories Sell Technology Why you need to become a Farmer not a Hunter to sell technology Technology Companies need to Embrace the Unofficial or Die Why People Buy Technology: Social Proof YOU ARE NOT MAD That's right, despite what the naysayers say, you are not mad. You see, the marketing game is easy, very easy indeed. The real sale isn't convincing teens to buy your latest handset, it's selling to your own organization. Your main competitors aren't the next guys in category but those in your organization who fold their arms, roll their eyes and tell you "we're different here." The real sale is trying to convince your boss or client that it’s worth continuing this project and that results are just around the corner. The real sale is selling the idea that there’s no going back to the old ways of Big Idea advertising just because that grassroots test project yielded average results. FOCUS FIRST ON THE INTERNAL SALE Internal Sale External Sale Fans Employees, co-workers who "get it" Customers who love the product Market Spread across different departments at different levels within organization Cross-segmentations and categories, a diaspora of Fans, the Interest Economy Your role Supply the ammunition: Give these fans stories, data, case studies to help them sell the message Help them tell their story: Give Fans tools to help tell their story, help connect with their audience and 3 / 10
  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org internally to their teams peers So how do you sell to your own people? Focus on your own Fans internally as you would externally. What do I mean by that? You wouldn't go out and throw 100% of your marketing budget at 100% of the market. By the same virtue, you shouldn't go out and focus all your energies on 100% of your organization. Rather, concentrate your fire power where it's needed, where it's welcome, where it will be received with open arms. Apply the 90-10 rule to both your internal as well as your external efforts. Focus on the 10% that will influence the 90%. THE 4 PEOPLE YOU'LL MEET IN YOUR PRESENTATION Just as you have those that get it and those that don't in your customer base, so you will have Fans and Critics in your own organization. Successful branding starts internally and that starts with knowing your market and how to allocate your energies accordingly. There will be Fans, those who couldn’t care less and there will be critics. There are 4 type of people who'll show up to your presentation or read your proposal. Knowing who they are and how to deal with them is core to a positive outcome. Let's break these down and look at each component: 4 / 10
  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org FROM CUSTOMERS TO FANS: BREAKDOWN OF THE MARKET Size Who are they? Role Fans 10% of the market Employees, co- workers, vocal customers who "get it" and love the product Key influencers, advocates and educators. Focus on breaking down the walls to help Fans tell their story and broadcast to the customer base. Commit all your energy to the Fans and leverage their lines of influence to shape the market. Observers 20% Silent Fans who are to be convinced that going public with their affections or ideas is a good idea The bridge between Fans and the mass market. 2nd wave of adopters Skeptics 50% The silent majority who are easily swayed one way or the other Skeptics only come on board when the Social Proof from Fans and Observers is strong enough to de-risk any change in behavior. Critics 20% The vocal opposition. The "Yes, buts". The naysayers Critics will continue to fiercely oppose any change, product or technology simply because their position of opposition gives them significance. Do not waste 5 / 10
  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org energy to convert the Critic. Focus energies on those that matter and use the mass market to silence the critic. 1. FANS (THE CHANGE AGENTS) 10% of the market are “change agents”. They “get it”. The change agent is your own Fan. She sings your praises to her boss. She sponsors your presentation in front of the team and you need to turn up and make sure you haven’t blown their reputation out of the water. You need to help her convince her boss that she’s doing the right thing. They are sold on your idea and need you to help them sell this message internally. By declaring yourself you have planted a flag for them to rally round and join the dots with other likeminds. Your role for these guys is to give this project life, give it a name and give them ammunition to make that internal sale. 2. OBSERVERS (SILENT FANS) Observers see the importance of change and are willing to get behind a project. What’s stopping them is that they don’t have the self belief of the Fan and are afraid of change. Your role isn’t to convince the Observer of the need to change it’s to empower the Fan to lead these Observers into change. 6 / 10
  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org 3. SKEPTICS (THE SHEEP) Skeptics turn up rather unwillingly to your presentations. “Let’s hear what he has to say”. You are an obstruction and an added cost in their daily work life. You are telling them about change when they just want to get on with their job. Everything you are suggesting is an obstruction to getting that job done. Unlike critics, skeptics are less vocal. Skeptics tend to look to those on the either side of them for social proof. Skeptics will have difficulty joining the dots between the relevance of a soda brand and their own line of Bluetooth headsets. The Skeptic is so drilled in the operations of their business that anything outside of their box is irrelevant. But ultimately, if you give them too much of your time, your case becomes bogged down in a defensive argument that gives the Critics too much credibility. Skeptics will come across to your idea only when they are forced and this is not your remit. Skeptics follow when the metrics that turn up in their quarterly review align with your own objectives not when they are asked to think about the long term prospects of the brand. Unlike the critics they will comply but the switch to flip isn’t your own, that relies on having enough internal momentum within the company to implement long term strategies and metrics that compel Skeptics to change. 4. CRITICS (THE YES BUTS) On the opposite pole of acceptance there are the critics. Critics are not worth your time or energy. 7 / 10
  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org Do not waste your energy trying to convert them or counter their arguments. The critic sits in your presentation with folded arms, leaning back in his chair. In response to your every sentence he says “yeah, but…” The most effective argument to deal with a critic in a presentation is simply to say “well, that’s up to you. I’m just here to present the evidence, not to try and tell you what to think.” Critics don't come to your presentation to learn, but to score points. “Show me the case study evidence” they’ll say and when you feel you have convinced them with your data, they’ll move the goalposts. You can never win over critics. Critics are the pigs. Critics are a black hole of energy. They are psychic vampires feeding off their antagonism. When you deliver a compelling case, he goes quiet, retreats into his world of cynicism and prepares to unleash a tirade of snide remarks and criticisms when he’s alone with the team out of earshot. When interacting with the critic, your conversation should be mindful of how your case appears to the observers because it is them you want to win over, not the critic. AFTER THE PRESENTATION After you’ve delivered your presentation or your project, after you’ve inspired their team with your presentation about Fans, business life goes back to “normal”. All your ideas about selling technology are forgotten. When the subject of daily conversation turns to how we meet this quarter’s key performance indicators, business switches back to its urgency. Your great ideas fade into history. 8 / 10
  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org It’s in this daily dynamic that your work will be forgotten by Skeptics, Critics and Observers but still carried by the Fans. It’s in these daily dynamics that you need to empower those Fans with the right stories to affect change on the Observers. Fans need ammunition. You are the supplier. Your job isn’t to go round these brands and evangelize the cause; your job’s simply to plant a flag for those who already get it to find their home. It may be the head of retail, the loyalty manager and a group of interns that you are connecting the dots with. They all “get it” and have seen it with their own eyes but without you to bring them together there exists no force outside of these organizational confines that can join the dots. KNOW WHEN TO DOUBLE DOWN AND WHEN TO FOLD If you’re sitting in a meeting and your client or team are ganging up against you with a thousand “yes buts” and there are no Fans in the room who are banging the drum for the cause, you are sitting in the wrong meeting. Quit the meeting. Fold. Trying to convince the team that this is the right thing to do is a heartless task that will result in unnecessary grief and stress. If you’re coming out of client or team meetings rattled and stressed you’re in the wrong place. Better off planting a flag elsewhere and attracting those people to you. You don’t have years to burn pushing this stuff up hill so why waste your talents on those who don’t deserve it? 9 / 10
  • mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org Double down with those that come to you asking for more. Help them set up a company newsletter, an ad-hoc team, a discussion group, an event or a project that can unite people. Help them join the dots. You don’t need to seek permission to make it happen. Powered by TCPDF (www.tcpdf.org) 10 / 10