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Do you know your B2B customers' Elevator Rant?

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Do you know your B2B customers' Elevator Rant?

  1. 1. The CustomerElevator RantBefore you can have an effectivemarketing and communicationsstrategy, you have to know whatyour customers are bitching abouton the elevator when you’re notaround.Bob LondonPresidentLondon, Ink LLCwww.londonink.com
  2. 2. In B2B marketing& sales, we oftenhave the wrongperspective My Elevator Pitch… Our “About Us” Section… Our Sales Proposal… (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  3. 3. HEY, I HAVE A GIFT FOR YOU:A BEAUTIFULLY FRAMED PICTURE! (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  4. 4. Of me! It’s an awesome picture of me, your pal, Bob London! It has an elegant, hand- carved, woodeFeaturing my n frame!patented“casual-jacket-thrown-over-the-shoulder”pose Tell you what, I’ll even sign it. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  5. 5. “UH, THANKS BOB…BUT I DON’T NEED(OR WANT) A PICTURE OF YOU.” “What I’d Really Love to Have…” (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  6. 6. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  7. 7. Now that’s what I’m talking about. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  8. 8. In B2B Marketing &Sales, You Often Have theWrong Perspective: Yours. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  9. 9. You Have a Quota Your Customer Has 2 – 3 Gigantic, Burning Hot Priorities Your marketing and salesapproach needs to resonate on their terms, not yours. Your Customer Has 2 You Have a Quota – 3 Gigantic, Burning Hot Priorities (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  10. 10. Sound obvious? Consider this: In a London, Ink study of 50 B2B proposals, the average amount of focus on customer perspective was just 7%, based on word count.Web Site Design/Dev, $100K Custom Content/E-Budget Newsletter, $70K Budget• % of Proposal Devoted to • % of Proposal Devoted to Customer Perspective Customer Perspective o Vendor 1: 20% o Vendor 1: 6% o Vendor 2: 3% o Vendor 2: 8% o Vendor 3: 5% o Vendor 3: 3% (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  11. 11. To shift your perspective and have aneffective marketing and sales strategy… You have to understand your Customers’ Elevator Rant. What are their biggest challenges and priorities? What are they complaining about when you’re not around? It might not be directly related to what you are selling. Understanding your Customers’ Elevator Rant helps improve every aspect of your marketing and sales mix. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  12. 12. How do I uncover myCustomers’ Elevator Rant? Try asking your customers  (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  13. 13. Engage 5 – 7 customers in a non-sales dialogue.1. Their Perspective on Their Business The most valuable • What are your top 3 business challenges next year? 45 minutes you • What key initiatives have you prioritized to address those will ever spend challenges? with your2. Their Perspective on a Specific Functional Area customer. • Does (industry) have a reputation? • What do you expect from a (functional area) provider? The best time to • What are (functional area) providers missing? talk with customers is when3. Their Perspective on Your Business (Connect the Dots) you are not trying • How do your priorities and challenges relate to to sell them (functional area)? anything. • What would make you a customer for life? (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  14. 14. BUT WILL OUR CUSTOMERSACTUALLY TALK ABOUT THIS STUFF? (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  15. 15. Since you asked… Bu sin ess c h a l l en g es > k ey in it ia t iv es > Peo pl e pr io r it ies CHALLENGES I NI TI ATI VES PEOPLE PRI ORI TI ES I NVOLVED Big g est bu sin ess c h a l l en g es HR EARLY? • External: trying to divine • External: stayed behind • We’ve involved HR in plan on No strategy amidst uncertainty, re collecting own data how to involve staff in getting healthcare payments, etc. on outcomes/ quality, analysis; use operational plan to • Vendors really need to define value prop. We will have to adjust. have to leap forward. restack resources; seats on the • Spend a lot of time with clients—understand what they need vs. Everything will change • Designed to address bus.• Everyone’s looking for more tell them what they need. within 3 years, we don’t market factor – prove • We’ve used HR a lot to set Example 1 know how. what we do works. goals, deliverables, make value from us at the same or • No more suitcase, here’s what you need. • But don’t chase rabbit trails; Clinical outcomes, connection between indiv perf lower prices. • Need great strategic listening skills. goals are a part of operational Discipline of acting and not patient quality acting. measures. plan…rely on HR for this.• Business strategy/ • L onger sales cycles these days. • Helping other staff succeed! prioritization and HR • Pulling out what is usually consulting which we would normally pay for. redacted • Some staff are finding themselves in new roles. functions are totally • Then they can shop around for price. • Set goals, stay clear on independent. No need to • Once we got nod, then there’s negotiation. objectives. involve HR during formation • Internal: we have grown but • Strategic plan, identify No of business priorities. • redacted Level of people who have these jobs aren’t strategic. seeing net revenues decrease, new sources of revenue, Example 2 • Two types: good at day to day 5500 forms, insurance renewals, so need to make major big internal shift, look adjustments/ corrections to for new opportunities.• Retention is far and away the # 1 concern and challenge. • operational/ admin, 401K. “Cu st o mer f o r l •if e? Then more senior people in big orgs that are a partner—never going ” higher net revenue with new initiatives, then new non- New tech platform (A M S). Web site, to get someone like that due to outsourcing, budget, size, etc. dues revenue – greater rebranding. return. • W hat we’re missing is: ― what are we missing?‖ • HR providers should focus on understanding that staff retention and • Esp when we get involved with workforce rationalization: how do we need to operation in 6 • CEOs/ ED’s change in recruiting is greatest challenge in coming years due toknow they workforce 3 years; skills, dev current staff,TPO & L ondon, Ink Proprietary & Confidential, • ― People don’t leave getting new ones, etc. aren’t HR experts. They companies they leave • Boomers exiting, difficult to replace skill set, millennials. know there are things • These are things outside of day to day resp of on site person—they don’t have time to managers.‖ • Candidates aren’t readily available, not looking. they don’t know. think about and we don’t expect them to bec of their hours. Will it be greener on the other side? • TPO’s relationship with • M ost HR providers do good job dealing with tactical part of HR needs; where a lot don’t do is us gives them an 5 initiate strategic part of HR. M ight have capab but don’t promote it. Proprietary & Confidential, TPO & L ondon, Ink opportunity to • Strategic: every department: accounting, HR, production needs a biz plan for the year, chapter proactively assess and in biz strat: what does HR see as challenges, internally or externally. recommend—even (or • Have to be able to market it…it’s really a conversation; perhaps day to day consultant isn’t especially) without being capable but C-level person more appropriate. Very easy for HR providers to get wrapped up in asked. tactical needs of a company. • Strategic conversation needs to happen with C- L evel person, not HR redacted • Our HR person had high level HR position for 30 years but bec there are so many changes on reg basis, she can’t keep up • TPO gathers latest changes (health insurance, etc.), disseminate to their team, bring to us. consultant. • Don’t know that they do this but would be a nice benefit, great service offering. • Would definitely value • TPO could be experts in disseminating info. broader perspective on best practices— • I have 1 HR person and she’s great, but I look at TPO as having an HR team. I have a desig knowledge areas beyond consultant but that person should bring entire TPO org knowledge to bear on big issues. what our consultant is • Not sure if TPO functions that way—is there emphasis on changing trends, directions that comfortable with. they download to the individual consultant so that person is bringing collective knowledge. • That would be very valuable: not just hiring consultant, hiring team. • This should be proactive. • Not interested in the idea that I have to bring them in. They know the big picture so they should be thinking about this. Proactively: if you want to achieve these Proprietary & Confidential, TPO & L ondon, Ink goals, here are recommendations we would make for you to be successful. 12
  16. 16. How many of you would liketo have customers “for life”?How many have actually asked yourcustomers what it would take forthem to become customers for life? (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  17. 17. Technology Outsourcing Firm1st Gen Message 2nd Gen Message Elevator RantWe keep you up We get to know “I need someone to helpand running! your business! us make sense of big technology trends coming down the road, so we don’t get blindsided or miss an opportunity.” New Revenue New Positioning Opportunities New Service Offering (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  18. 18. Business Intelligence (BI) Consulting Firm (Public Sector)1st Gen Message 2nd Gen Message Elevator RantWe’re BI software We know the “60% of BI softwareexperts! public sector. implementations fail to meet expectations. Tell me what I’m doing wrong.” New Positioning (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  19. 19. Data/Solutions Firm1st Gen Message 2nd Gen Message Elevator RantWe provide Our solutions “There are a thousand othercompetitive deliver ways we can use your data.intelligence in competitive So stop trying to sell me youryour industry. intelligence to existing solutions and start your call centers. helping me figure out where else I can use your competitive intelligence. And don’t charge me for consulting hours.” New Revenue New Service Opportunity Offering (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  20. 20. The customer’s answer to the“customer for life” question isusually their Elevator Rant.(c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  21. 21. HOW DO WE SHOW CUSTOMERS WE“GET” THEIR ELEVATOR RANT? (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  22. 22. How do we show prospects that we“get” their Elevator Rant? 1. We write it down in our proposals. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  23. 23. Use the “Proposal Word Count Test” # of Customer Focused Should be at least 25% Words in Proposal Customer Focus = Quotient Total # of Words in Usually under 5% Proposal (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  24. 24. Your proposal should start whereyour last conversation left off.• I heard your overall business challenges and priorities. (NOTE: This is not their pain point relative to what you are selling.)• I accurately understand your requirements/pain.• Here’s our overall approach given your situation.• Here’s how we will address your requirements.• Here are some other ideas and recommendations to think about.• Now, here’s some more about us. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  25. 25. Even the file name of yourproposal sends a message Customer-Focused Vendor-Focused (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  26. 26. How else can we show prospectsthat we “get” their Elevator Rant? 2. We reflect it on our Web site. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  27. 27. It’s Not All “About Us” • We obsess over the “About Us” Section • Do we spend enough time on “About You”? o Articulate their Elevator Rant o Describe how you address the Elevator Rant o Define our sweet spot in a way that resonates o Give examples/case studies! Your goal should be for prospects to see themselves in your web site. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  28. 28. How else can we show prospectsthat we “get” their Elevator Rant? 3. We incorporate it into our elevator pitch. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  29. 29. Don’t focus your pitch on you or your service.• What we are. (Quickly establish what bucket you fall into.)• Why people need us. (The Elevator Rant they can identify with.)• How we serve that need. (Your approach that addresses the Elevator Rant.) (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  30. 30. But we’re in a commoditybusiness. It’s so transactional.It’s hard to differentiate.Everyone focuses on price. • Then the Elevator Rant is even more critical. • It positions you as customer focused. • It can help differentiate your entire marketing approach. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  31. 31. Summary• Change your perspective from “About Us” to “About You.”• Understanding your Customers’ Elevator Rant is critical to having a successful marketing and sales strategy.• The Elevator Rant isn’t hard to figure out. Just ask your customers.• Do the “Proposal Word Count Test” today.• Talking to your customers when you’re not selling will yield new revenue opportunities. (c) London, Ink www.londonink.com
  32. 32. Thanks!Bob London www.londonink.comPresident bob@londonink.comLondon, Ink LLC +1 240.994.7644
  • GRWilsn

    Oct. 5, 2012

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