Saturday, May 12, 2018
Market Research Competency Is Essential
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Meeting The Chairman Of The Board Is Outside The Comfort Zone Of Most Sales Reps
Following A Well Planned Account Development Strategy Will Earn This Right
Search for self-confident business leaders and influencers whose personal response mode is either growth or trouble. Avoid even keel or euphoric buyers and people who want to place you in a box where your value and ideas will be squashed.
Recruit a coach within the customer organization who will help you to tailor your value proposition to address the business, application and political obstacles you’ll be facing.
Introduce yourself early in their new application buying cycles as a valuable educator and problem solver.
Display a willingness to share account position with the incumbent. When you confidently believe that you have consistently exceeded customer expectations, you have earned the right to adjust your account plan from a divisional strategy to an indirect strategy that changes the ground rules from which customer value decisions are made. This will set you on a new course to becoming the incumbent.
My example: As a national account manager, I was responsible for a growth mode F500 customer where we shared a niche position with two other vendors. I recognized how far we had to go in order to be considered a true competitor to their primary vendor who owned the account relationship and $120 million in annual sales. After eliminating the secondary competitors and owning the $1 million niche, my next goal was to penetrate the core business.
My solid reputation for facilitating an excellent customer experience [and for business acumen and product and industry knowledge] that I had developed in the niche area established strong horizontal and vertical relationships throughout their company. My internal customer coach guided me in the right direction. I believed that I had earned the right to meet their chairman of the board. I approached him directly to let him know about the value we were providing to his company. I knew that he loved to play golf. He accepted my invitation to play on a nearby world class golf course in an event that I organized where he’d play with my company president and senior executives from my company were paired with his company’s senior managers who were amazed that I was able to make this happen.
This set me apart from all other vendors who would never think to go outside their comfort zones to this degree. VP level decision makers felt more comfortable allowing my company to share business with their long-time incumbent since their chairman opened the door to a reduced risk decision. This set the stage for my company being awarded a $15 million contract that in the past would have been a natural add-on for the competition. From that point forward, the incumbent considered my company as a legitimate foe to be dealt with in this account. [They even tried to hire me.]
By John Bernardi
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
By John Bernardi
Saturday, April 14, 2018
If your goal is to earn a price above your category's median price, you will need a Unique Value Proposition for each of your targeted personas. If you try to get by with one UVP, it will be average at best because you will be trying to shoehorn each persona into the same UVP that's convenient for you. Persona based Brand UVPs will create buyer interest in speaking with you. Each proposal's executive summary will require its own Proposal UVP in order to win profitable sales opportunities.
Saturday, March 31, 2018
A unique value proposition will maximize your brand's value without price concessions. Create a brand UVP for each important buyer persona you serve. Strong brand UVPs can be the core of your content marketing strategy.
Thursday, March 22, 2018
Unless you invest in resources who are willing and able to consistently implement your marketing and sales programs and campaigns, why spend the money developing these programs and campaigns? As a business leader, ask yourself if you are the root cause of resistance to change.