By Britton Manasco, Manasco Marketing Partners
Well, there’s one detrimental factor I’m seeing quite a bit these days. I’m wondering if it’s a challenge that you face.
What I’m seeing are companies failing to position themselves as thought leaders on the issues that matter most to their potential clients. As a result, they are unable to get the attention or earn the confidence of executive decision makers. They may even be relegated to people who lack the authority, influence or ambition to champion a new approach.
This is a huge missed opportunity — an opportunity to win big in today’s contested markets. And one more thing: the investment necessary to do so is minor relative to the possible payoffs.
It’s even a chance for the Davids to level the playing field with some of the Goliaths. We should know. We’ve worked with Goliaths such as Accenture, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, and Cisco. We’ve helped these companies articulate a thought leading position on key issues.
What’s interesting is how little it would take for aspiring firms to look just as authoritative and formidable as these giant firms on particular business issues. Indeed, focus and intensity represent a key advantage in this regard. They enable smaller firms to zero in on what’s most salient, build credibility with senior decision makers, and set themselves apart from much larger players.
The challenge revolves around articulating a compelling or provocative message. You win by presenting a distinct point of view on a key issue and establishing yourself as a trusted authority. You’ll cut through the clutter and capture attention — even as your rivals go to market with powerless presentations, weak white papers, and tedious talking points.
This is your chance to win. This is a chance to engage your prospective clients at an earlier stage of the decision process and even initiate a new decision. You then can guide them through the decision, helping them address the key issues that otherwise might have led to no decision at all.
By thinking in terms of conversation design, you’ll equip and empower your sales people to engage in business conversations that uncover and amplify value. And by reaching more executive decision makers at an earlier point you will produce more deals — and more profitable deals.
So ask yourself: Is your message compelling? Provocative? Differentiated? Are you a thought leader on the issues that are most relevant to your buyers? And, if not, why not?
Re-posted with permission. Original post here.
Britton is founder of Manasco Marketing Partners, which produces content and communications that enables clients to more powerfully assess and articulate their market opportunities, value propositions and business solutions as well as reach out to key market influencers. He produces the thought leadership strategy blog Elevation and the executive journal, Elevation Quarterly. He’s written for Harvard Business Review; The New York Times; CIO Magazine; Intelligent Enterprise; CNET/ZDNET; Marketing Management; Sales and Marketing Management; 1to1 Magazine; Far Eastern Economic Review; Reason Magazine; and many other media outlets worldwide.