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Webinar- How to get the most value out of your SMEs - Mark Amtower

Mark will share his advice for proposal managers working with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and SMEs themselves:
Leverage your expertise in your technical volume to win more business.
Develop clear communication habits that influence decision makers.
Make sure you don’t damage your credibility with technical jargon overload.   

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Webinar- How to get the most value out of your SMEs - Mark Amtower

  1. 1. Thought Leader Webinar How to get the most value out of your SMEs Mark Amtower
  2. 2. ˇˇ WEBINARHOUSEKEEPING • Our call will last approx. 1 hour. • Please ask your questions in the ‘Question’ facility. • We have a Q&A session at the end. • Please complete the survey at the end of the session. • The recording will be shared a few days after this webinar. Evelyn Wolf CMO @ VisibleThread Evelyn.wolf@visiblethread.com
  3. 3. MEET According to Guy Timberlake, CEO of The American Small Business Coalition, Mark Amtower is the “Godfather of government marketing.” Government marketing veteran Bob Gosselin called Amtower “the best of the best of government marketing gurus.” OUR THOUGHT LEADER Mark Amtower, Founding Partner of Amtower & Company Author, consultant, speaker, LinkedIn coach and radio host Mark Amtower has focused on one market – Global One – doing business with government for more than thirty years. Known in Washington, DC for his all-black attire and extreme candor, Amtower is by far the most influential and candid voice in business-to-government marketing, quoted in over 250 publications, doing interviews on business-talk radio around the country, speaking at 20-30 conferences and seminars each year.
  4. 4. THE POWER OF CLARITY Improving pWIN rates through plain language
  5. 5. ˇˇ LANDSCAPEBID CENTER
  6. 6. ˇˇ COLLINS AEROSPACECASE STUDY • Largest aerospace industry supplier in the world with 150 locations • Responding to RFPs is part of day-to-day business • RFP authors / SMEs are engineers • “They’re busy implementing projects. Writing is not what they want to be doing.”
  7. 7. ˇˇ COLLINS AEROSPACECASE STUDY “Engineers are busy. They don’t know where or how to start writing. They have trouble meeting deadlines because they’re so busy. We also end up with multiple ‘voices’ in the writing. This causes our documents to be fragmented.” Jessica Conrad, Senior Proposal Manager
  8. 8. ˇˇ COLLINS AEROSPACE Technology leads improvements: 1. Writing is more fun • Scoring, improving and healthy competition • Objective system – no more red pen 2. Support structure in place for SMEs • Simpler to meet deadlines • Can focus on strategy instead of writing style 3. Reviewers understand the RFP response better • “We’ve had feedback from customers where we’ve submitted several RFPs. Comments since using VisibleThread have been that our copy is easier to understand now.” RESULTS
  9. 9. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) How to Get the Most Out of Your SMEs We’ll cover - What is a SME - Market Research - Why it should be part of your game plan - Elements of the SME Platform - Deployment
  10. 10. WHAT IS A SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT? OPM: A subject matter expert, or SME, is a "person with bona fide expert knowledge about what it takes to do a particular job. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) 10
  11. 11. LET’S START WITH A LITTLE MARKET RESEARCH Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) 11
  12. 12. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for Visible Thread)12 Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for Visible Thread)
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  15. 15. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for Visible Thread)15
  16. 16. 16October 12, 2018
  17. 17. WHEN YOU’RE ESTABLISHING A SME’S CREDENTIALS Developing and sharing content becomes an integral part of the process. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) 17
  18. 18. THE PROBLEM Many companies have SMEs but do little to highlight them. Many companies specialize in particular agencies and/or technologies but do little to emphasize that. Some smaller companies feel compelled to claim multiple areas of expertise. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) 18
  19. 19. Key Elements of Subject Matter Expertise §Deep current knowledge of a particular subject §Shares that knowledge in many venues with a defined community §Can make a complex subject understandable §Can be sought out by media for comments on breaking news §Live networking (seen in public) Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread)
  20. 20. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) Key Elements §Are sought for speaking engagements §Are more likely to high on any recommendation list §Enjoy what they do and let it show §Easily found during online searches §Write frequently and may have published a book §Are accessible
  21. 21. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) Steps to building the SME platform §Know what you do well: list your strengths §Determine and define your market/niche position §Identify the competition §Differentiate from your competitors
  22. 22. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) Steps to building the SME platform §Build the content library §Start building key relationships and a network - Online networking - Live networking
  23. 23. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) Steps to building the SME platform §Determine the best venues to share §Engage §Keep your learning process going §Start the process again
  24. 24. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) Your SME market position must §Be an area where you have demonstrable expertise §Have a definable market/audience §Preferably be an area where you already have a beachhead §Be an area where you can stand out §Above all- you must be visible and vettable
  25. 25. MARKET POSITION: MAINTAIN AN UP-TO-DATE SWOT ANALYSIS On your SMEs. Always know where they rank in your niche. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) 25
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  27. 27. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) SWOT Examples § Strengths - Market knowledge - # of recent speaking gigs - Recent articles published - High name recognition § Opportunities - Develop better relations at X (company, agency, association, media outlet) - Other places to share content § Weaknesses - Less time to keep up with market trends § Threats - Market niche maturing and sub-dividing - More people focusing on this niche
  28. 28. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) What can make your SME stand out or apart from the competition? §Do they “own” the intellectual real estate necessary to proceed? §Have you determined the “food chain” in your niche? §Will the SME devote the time? §Will they create the content? §Will they engage? §Will they sustain the effort?
  29. 29. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) Any claim to intellectual real estate you make (from Hinge Marketing Studies) §Must be true §Must be important to the audience §Must be supportable §You need to be visible enough to be vetted
  30. 30. MANY COMPANIES DO LITTLE TO DIFFERENTIATE Either on their web site or through social media Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) 30
  31. 31. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) I call it the “Waldo Factor”
  32. 32. MANY SMALLER CONTRACTORS SEEK BUSINESS BY CASTING A WIDE NET Their intent is to attract clients by the breadth of offerings Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) 32
  33. 33. IN REALITY, WHEN THE “WIDE NET” IS CAST You end up looking like 90% of the other smalls out there and you get lost in the crowd Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) 33
  34. 34. WHEN A CONTRACTING OFFICER SEES A COMPANY WITH 12 EMPLOYEES CLAIMING EXPERTISE IN 20 AREAS… Doubt occurs, and you become one of many, not the select few Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) 34
  35. 35. THIS TRIGGERS THE “WALDO FACTOR” And you are classified as a generalist with hundreds of other faceless and nameless contractors. You become anonymous. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) 35
  36. 36. THE COST OF ANONYMITY is irrelevance. You are simply one more face in the crowd. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) 36
  37. 37. CONTENT DEPLOYMENT Once your SME starts developing content (articles, white papers, blog posts, etc) You need to deploy these where they will most likely be found by those you need to influence. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for Visible Thread) 37
  38. 38. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) Sharing via LinkedIn §As an article on your profile §Sharing the link as a post §In your Groups §Throughout your profile where it is germane
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  42. 42. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) Other Venues for Content deployment §Through Facebook §Twitter §Speaking engagements §Articles in trade publications §Through your website
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  45. 45. IF YOU KNOW OR SUSPECT AN RFP IS “COMING SOON” FOR A SPECIFIC PROBLEM Deploy your content early to influence the process Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) 45
  46. 46. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) Dare to see things differently
  47. 47. FOUR MAJOR GOVCON STUDIES Show that emphasizing key skills are an integral part of growing your company and winning business. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) 47
  48. 48. RESEARCH PROVIDED BY www.marketconnectionsinc.com www.hingemarketing.com www.govexec.com Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) 48
  49. 49. I CONSULT WITH COMPANIES REGARDING building the SME platform, Content development and deployment, And social selling/LinkedIn training. Copyright 2020, Mark Amtower (SME workshop, short version, for VisibleThread) 49
  50. 50. ˇˇ YOUR QUESTIONS
  51. 51. ˇˇ Register Now For Your Free Ticket
  52. 52. ˇˇ THANK YOU FOR JOINING US & THANK YOU TO MARK To learn more & your additional questions Mark Amtower Learn about VT Docs Get in touch with us https://www.visiblethread.com/ products/visiblethread-docs/ Demo: info@visiblethread.com Your Questions: evelyn.wolf@visiblethread.com MarkAmtower@gmail.com 301 854 9493 www.linkedin.com/in/markamtower @amtower

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