Archive for the ‘tech consulting’ Category

References aren’t all good

March 16, 2007

I’ve heard a lot of concern from marketers about “the dangers” of exposing negative customer comments as well as positive ones. This concern is obviously heightened in today’s social media age. However I think that the approach of encouraging an open conversation between customers has long been recognized by sales people.

Last week I interviewed a sales rep as part of a consulting engagement with a hi-tech company. During the interview he mentioned a sale that he’d won by asking a current customer to have a direct call with his prospect. This is nothing new, and isn’t unusual at all, except this was a competitive bid against another hi-tech vendor. The competitor also arranged a reference call. However, the sales rep at the competitor insisted on sitting in on the call! My interviewee was convinced that his openness to letting his customer discuss their product, warts and all, contributed to him winning the deal.

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Talking to clients, one by one

February 2, 2006

CMO magazine has a great article on why professional service companies shouldn’t produce corporate brochures.

Our clients have a wide variety of complex problems that we help them to solve, or as CMO magazine puts it…

“It’s not a refrigerator. …with professional services. Ten clients who need tax help, for example, probably all need different types of help. The needs of professional-service clients vary too widely for generic marketing. So a critical guerrilla marketing principle applies: One size fits none.”

I absolutely agree with this approach – especially within tech consulting. The key is not to talk, but to listen. I can then deliver a personal response that addresses their unique problems.