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Agenda-Less Listening: How to Discover & Leverage What Your Target Audience Really Thinks

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I had a wonderful experience doing a talk/workshop with a group of CEOs, courtesy of Lee Self's Renaissance Executive Forum. We discussed the importance of discovering your customers' Elevator Rant (every customer has one!) and the method for doing this, Agenda-Less Listening.

The group was incredibly interactive and creative in their understanding and interpretations of the content. These are the best workshops--when the teacher learns something new to make the next workshop better.

Thanks all!

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Agenda-Less Listening: How to Discover & Leverage What Your Target Audience Really Thinks

  1. 1. HOW TO DISCOVER & LEVERAGE WHAT YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE IS REALLY THINKING May 10, 2018 Bob London CEO & Founder
  2. 2. DON’T FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR OWN SOLUTION. FALL IN LOVE WITH THE CUSTOMER’S NEEDS.
  3. 3. @chief_listener PLETHORA OF HATRED! CONTRACTS 2012 3 CUSTOMER ELEVATOR RANT
  4. 4. @chief_listener EMPATHY-BASED MARKETING • Started with authentic curiosity • Agenda-less Listening • Unfiltered • Identified major Customer Elevator Rant • First to deliver tangible, unique value SELFIE-STYLE MARKETING (LOOK WHAT WE BUILT!) 4 Fastest-GrowingU.S. Carrierfor5Years
  5. 5. WHAT’S YOURS? (DON’T SHARE IT WITH ANYONE YET)
  6. 6. COMPANY PITCH CUSTOMER ELEVATOR RANT OUTSIGHT RESULTS! Outsourced IT Firm - Growth Plateau We know tech & we’re great at service! CFO: “The tech is fine. I’m anxious about next wave” Personalized, annual non-tech briefings for CXOs. Enterprise cloud management software with $0 in revenue We improve governance & orchestration of your public cloud to increase efficiency. CIO/CTO: “Too much stuff. What one problem does it solve?” Automatically turns off idle AWS resources, reducing costs by <65%. $1.7M in Funding 300+ Enterprise Customers Minimal Marketing & Sales IT
  7. 7. Humanity Curiosity Empathy Authenticity HUGH Filters Bias Agenda Selling AND LESS…
  8. 8. 8 @chief_listener BETTER MARKETING CAMPAIGN METRICS HIGHER SALES CLOSE RATES VALUE PROP / BRAND / DIFFERENTIATION MORE RELEVANT MESSAGING & CONTENT NEW GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES ACQUISITION / DUE DILIGENCE GROWTH PLATEAU COMPETITION / COMMODITIZATION WHAT IF I TOLD YOU AGENDA-LESS LISTENING COULD ADDRESS:
  9. 9. 9 101-on-1 Calls with Existing & Former Customers & Lost Deals 30Minutes Each 6 -10Disruptive, Insight- Provoking Questions THE AGENDA-LESS LISTENING TOUR (TWO EARS, ONE MOUTH)
  10. 10. Start with a quiet mind. Relax. It’s a conversation not an interview. Let the dialogue go where they want to go. Keep asking "why?” & “what do you mean?” Drop ego, biases & defensiveness. Embrace their rants. Be agile and iterative. Breath, smile. IT’S ABOUT THEM, NOT YOU 10 NO SELLING
  11. 11. 1. What are your company’s top 2 business priorities for the next year or 2? What’s on your white board? 2. What do you and your team need to get better at this year? 3. What are we better at than anyone else? 4. Does our industry have a reputation (good or bad)? 5. What’s something annoying vendors do? 6. If you had a free hour with an independent industry expert, what would you ask? 7. What would make you a customer for life? 8. Is there anything I didn’t ask about that I should have? Anything you’d like to add? 8 DISRUPTIVE, THOUGHT- PROVOKING QUESTIONS YOUR COMPETITORS AREN’T ASKING (YET)
  12. 12. I wish we had more ________. We can’t keep doing ________ this way. I’m so tired of bumping up against ________. Why can’t vendors just ____? Stop trying to be ____. Their software would be great if they just ____. I hate writing that check every month for ____. Why does _____ have to be so complicated? 12 RANT: What are they dissatisfied with? OUTSIGHT: What are they really trying to tell you?
  13. 13. YOUR CUSTOMERS’ ELEVATOR RANT?
  14. 14. “Did you ever notice that a lot of firms promise you they’ll (rant)” “88% of companies complain about (rant).” “Most companies come to us after they’ve had (rant) with other firms.” “We started our firm because customers said they needed a way to (rant).” A “Our approach is different. We’ve addressed that by ________.”B
  15. 15. AND NOW, A MESSAGE FROM YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE 1. Understand—or at least ask me about--my goals. 2. Help me solve one problem really well. Then we’ll consider more. 3. Am I doing it right? What are industry best practices? 4. Educate me on what’s coming next. 5. Put more details and less fluff on your web site. 6. Send me an SME instead of a sales person. 7. Stop saying you’re my “partner,” and find tangible ways to align with my interests. 8. Explain your differentiator without saying things you competitors also say. 9. Be in touch when you don’t need anything. 15 @chief_listener
  16. 16. Get the FREE Customer Re-Discovery Playbook at www.customerrediscovery.com Complimentary ”FOL” Elevator Rant Session at www.chieflisteningofficers.com/book-a-call-with-bob-london 16 BOB LONDON BOB@CHIEFLISTENINGOFFICERS.COM +1.240.994.7644 THANK YOU & HAPPY LISTENING HUGH

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