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Undercover Marketing:
speaking so clients hear you
Mary Ellen Bates
Reluctant-Entrepreneur.com
June 18, 2017
Keys to Undercover Marketing
Focus on your clients, not your services
Be prepared to pivot
Listen more
Know your competiti...
Focus on your clients,
not your services
4@mebs
“What do you do?”
Clean houses
“I give you back your weekend”
Drive a truck
“Helping the world keep promises”
5@mebs
“What do you do?”
Financial planning
“Helping you make your future a reality”
AED salesperson
“I sell human jumper cables”...
Features vs. benefits
Features:
Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
“Here are the parts. You put it together”
Benefits:
“We...
Tell 3-sentence stories
The situation
What you delivered
The result
8@mebs
Tell 3-sentence stories
1. Describe the situation
One of our organization’s goals is to prepare
youth for today’s job mark...
Tell 3-sentence stories
2. What you delivered
Through a library workshop, 45 students learned
how to build and program a c...
Tell 3-sentence stories
3. What was the result?
We partnered with a local company to hire the
students and build more robo...
Create a brag-ologue
Keep a file of kudos, compliments, comments
Have anecdotes for “marketing moments”
Practice public sp...
Be prepared to pivot
13@mebs
“But they just don’t get it!”
14@mebs
YOU need to change…
WHO
WHAT
HOW
WHEN
WHY
15@mebs
YOU need to change…
WHO you are talking with
Are they potential clients?
WHAT you say
Are you talking about THEIR concerns...
YOU need to change…
WHEN you say it
Are you consistently talking when they are paying
attention?
WHY you say it
Are you 10...
Listen more
@mebs
What do your clients value the most?
“I’m sure that they value ....”
How do you know?
Time for reality-check conversations...
Reality-check conversations
Get past the obvious answer to the real value
Learn how clients describe their need
Become com...
Create opportunities to talk listen
Stop by their office
Chat when getting coffee
Invite yourself to staff meetings
Captur...
Conversation prompts
What’s keeping you from achieving your goals?
What happens when that need isn’t met?
Client does all ...
Conversation prompts
For repeat clients:
How would you describe us to a colleague?
23@mebs
Your goals
To see the world through their eyes
To lose all your assumptions
To learn their words for their problems
24@mebs
What are your clients’ real needs?
What do they think they want?
What don’t they know to ask for?
What can’t they get anyw...
Know your
competition
26@mebs
Who are your competitors?
Who competes with you for budget $?
Where else do your clients go?
Who or what could make your s...
What is valued?
Do you know your organization’s strategic goals
for 2017?
Are you visibly contributing to those goals?
28@...
Are you frictionless?
How easy is it to find you?
How easy is it to talk with you?
How responsive do your clients say you ...
ASK for complaints
Did you get what you needed?____________
How easy was it to use?__________________
What would make it m...
Scare yourself regularly
31@mebs
Purge your assumption buffers
What’s most valuable now?
What can we retire?
Who’s doing interesting things?
32@mebs
See yourself as indispensable
What are you to the bottom line?
Overhead to be controlled OR
Involved in accomplishing stra...
Finding the “value” dog whistle
“Libraries are great and they offer great ROI”
“We supported 85% of the successful grant
p...
When you describe yourself...
Is it a WHAT or HOW?
or is it a WHY?
“We provide research services” or
“We enable better dec...
WHAT/HOW or WHY?
“Librarians are info experts” or
“We can show you what our competitors don’t
want you to see”
“Librarians...
Then practice and refine!
Test out your description on everyone
Blank look? Try another approach
Goal: “Wow! I need you NO...
Be patient
Join the slow-marketing movement
It’s all about the networks
Building a 3-D profile takes time
38@mebs
Find Mary Ellen Bates at:
mbates@batesinfo.com
Twitter: @mebs
LinkedIn: maryellenbates
Facebook: maryellenbates
Reluctant–...
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Undercover Marketing: Speaking So Clients Hear You

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How do you communicate the value and impact of your information center when your colleagues’ eyes glaze over at the mention of “authoritative sources” or “controlled vocabulary”? In this presentation at the 2017 SLA Annual Conference, Mary Ellen offers five tangible tools to turn every opportunity with a colleague into a learning moment and to develop a reputation as an invaluable asset to your organization. Whether you are a solo librarian or just need to polish your skills in building your professional brand, expect to get fresh ideas to be seen as the strategic partner you are.

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Undercover Marketing: Speaking So Clients Hear You

  1. 1. Undercover Marketing: speaking so clients hear you Mary Ellen Bates Reluctant-Entrepreneur.com June 18, 2017
  2. 2. Keys to Undercover Marketing Focus on your clients, not your services Be prepared to pivot Listen more Know your competition Scare yourself regularly 3@mebs
  3. 3. Focus on your clients, not your services 4@mebs
  4. 4. “What do you do?” Clean houses “I give you back your weekend” Drive a truck “Helping the world keep promises” 5@mebs
  5. 5. “What do you do?” Financial planning “Helping you make your future a reality” AED salesperson “I sell human jumper cables” 6@mebs
  6. 6. Features vs. benefits Features: Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah “Here are the parts. You put it together” Benefits: “We can make you rich, beautiful and shrink your carbon footprint to zero” “We enable better decisions” 7@mebs
  7. 7. Tell 3-sentence stories The situation What you delivered The result 8@mebs
  8. 8. Tell 3-sentence stories 1. Describe the situation One of our organization’s goals is to prepare youth for today’s job market 9@mebs
  9. 9. Tell 3-sentence stories 2. What you delivered Through a library workshop, 45 students learned how to build and program a communications robot for autistic kids 10@mebs
  10. 10. Tell 3-sentence stories 3. What was the result? We partnered with a local company to hire the students and build more robots 11@mebs
  11. 11. Create a brag-ologue Keep a file of kudos, compliments, comments Have anecdotes for “marketing moments” Practice public speaking... really! 12@mebs
  12. 12. Be prepared to pivot 13@mebs
  13. 13. “But they just don’t get it!” 14@mebs
  14. 14. YOU need to change… WHO WHAT HOW WHEN WHY 15@mebs
  15. 15. YOU need to change… WHO you are talking with Are they potential clients? WHAT you say Are you talking about THEIR concerns? HOW you say it Are you listening or just talking? 16@mebs
  16. 16. YOU need to change… WHEN you say it Are you consistently talking when they are paying attention? WHY you say it Are you 100% focused on your clients’ outcome? How does your client know? 17@mebs
  17. 17. Listen more @mebs
  18. 18. What do your clients value the most? “I’m sure that they value ....” How do you know? Time for reality-check conversations! reluctant-entrepreneur.com/resources 19@mebs
  19. 19. Reality-check conversations Get past the obvious answer to the real value Learn how clients describe their need Become competition-proof! 20@mebs
  20. 20. Create opportunities to talk listen Stop by their office Chat when getting coffee Invite yourself to staff meetings Capture, share input from front-line staff 21@mebs
  21. 21. Conversation prompts What’s keeping you from achieving your goals? What happens when that need isn’t met? Client does all the talking. You do all the listening 22@mebs
  22. 22. Conversation prompts For repeat clients: How would you describe us to a colleague? 23@mebs
  23. 23. Your goals To see the world through their eyes To lose all your assumptions To learn their words for their problems 24@mebs
  24. 24. What are your clients’ real needs? What do they think they want? What don’t they know to ask for? What can’t they get anywhere else? What could have the greatest impact? 25@mebs
  25. 25. Know your competition 26@mebs
  26. 26. Who are your competitors? Who competes with you for budget $? Where else do your clients go? Who or what could make your services obsolete? 27@mebs
  27. 27. What is valued? Do you know your organization’s strategic goals for 2017? Are you visibly contributing to those goals? 28@mebs
  28. 28. Are you frictionless? How easy is it to find you? How easy is it to talk with you? How responsive do your clients say you are? Have you asked them lately? 29@mebs
  29. 29. ASK for complaints Did you get what you needed?____________ How easy was it to use?__________________ What would make it more useful?__________ What one change would you make to the Information Center? ____________________ 30@mebs
  30. 30. Scare yourself regularly 31@mebs
  31. 31. Purge your assumption buffers What’s most valuable now? What can we retire? Who’s doing interesting things? 32@mebs
  32. 32. See yourself as indispensable What are you to the bottom line? Overhead to be controlled OR Involved in accomplishing strategic goals 33@mebs
  33. 33. Finding the “value” dog whistle “Libraries are great and they offer great ROI” “We supported 85% of the successful grant proposals this year” 34@mebs
  34. 34. When you describe yourself... Is it a WHAT or HOW? or is it a WHY? “We provide research services” or “We enable better decisions” 35@mebs
  35. 35. WHAT/HOW or WHY? “Librarians are info experts” or “We can show you what our competitors don’t want you to see” “Librarians are strategic partners” or “We can find what you didn’t even know to ask us for” 36
  36. 36. Then practice and refine! Test out your description on everyone Blank look? Try another approach Goal: “Wow! I need you NOW!” 37@mebs
  37. 37. Be patient Join the slow-marketing movement It’s all about the networks Building a 3-D profile takes time 38@mebs
  38. 38. Find Mary Ellen Bates at: mbates@batesinfo.com Twitter: @mebs LinkedIn: maryellenbates Facebook: maryellenbates Reluctant–entrepreneur.com 40@mebs

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