Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER ONE Who Are You? 4 Steps to Focus Your Sales Efforts."— Presentation transcript:
CHAPTER ONE Who Are You? 4 Steps to Focus Your Sales Efforts
“I get calls every week asking me for a 30 minute introduction session; unless you can tell me what you have that differentiates you from everyone else, I will not make the time to meet with you.” - Bridgemark Solutions/Crux Research 2013 Market Research Industry Study Our industry is full of awesome marketing researchers, but when it comes to marketing our own companies and services, many of us are very much in the dark. How many market research firms have you ever heard describe themselves as “full-service”? What does that mean, anyway? We often forget one of the most fundamental truths about marketing: it’s about the customer! If the customer wants a full-service marketing research firm, that’s great. But I would bet that no marketing research customer ever walked into his or her office saying, “By golly, I need a full-service marketing research firm!” Further, I would bet that it would be difficult to find a definition of “full-service” that our customers would even agree on. So the first thing we have to do is figure out what customers want from us. Differentiation is a marketing fundamental that market researchers often overlook. Granted, differentiation can be extremely difficult in the market research industry where many of the products and services that we offer are identical or very similar. Many companies offer qualitative research, in all of its many permutations. Most research firms offer several varieties of quantitative research. We all analyze data, develop reports, and make presentations and recommendations. Nonetheless, you have to find a way to stand out from the crowd. You have to give customers a reason to pick up the phone and call you, rather than your competitor.
So even if we aren’t truly differentiated from our competitors, we still have to carve out a distinction that we can talk about. It has to be broad enough that there are sufficient target customers for us to pursue, but not so broad that every other research firm can claim it. To get started, here are some possible ways to differentiate your marketing research firm: Make a list of all of the clients you’ve worked with in the past two years. Highlight those that you’ve worked with multiple times. Next, add in some additional information about your clients. What is their industry/micro-industry? Are they B2B or B2C? Is there a particular technique or skill they come to you for? What is their geography – local, regional, national, global? What kinds of business problems are you helping them with (e.g., customer satisfaction, innovation, brand positioning, new products)? Then take a step back and see the patterns that emerge. What are most of your clients getting from you? Or put another way, what benefit are you delivering to them? Where do you have the most experience? What are you really good at? This could be a successful distinction around which you can build your brand – and then, your sales plan. Another way to think about this that should not be overlooked is to figure out what you love researching. What are you truly interested in, personally and professionally? Are there certain product that you really enjoy, or social causes that you feel strongly about? Anything that ignites your passion can also become a distinction and a way to connect effectively with new clients. Anything that ignites your passion can also become a distinction and a way to connect effectively with new clients.
And remember – it’s a distinction. You should try to pick one - and only one - for each audience you are targeting and commit to it. If your messaging communicates that you’re good at everything, your target audience won’t know what they should call you for. Having a distinction isn’t limiting, it’s liberating. Once you have your distinction, review your marketing materials, digital assets, and even your electronic signature to ensure that you are committing to -- and optimized for -- that distinction. “ “While it’s nice to have a supplier who can ‘do it all’ and has lots of experience in a variety of areas, what we’re really looking for are experts…people that can do it better than we can. I find it hard to believe anyone claims to be an expert in everything. So when new suppliers approach me, I wish that they would just be upfront about what it is they do best – and let’s get down to solving problems.” Bridgemark Solutions/Crux Research 2013 Market Research Industry Study