RAB Research Archive

You’re Doing It Wrong



Ever have the courage/confidence to tell a client or prospect, “You’re doing it wrong”? We would never suggest that you say it exactly like that, but do you challenge the way they are doing things? Do you encourage new ways? As marketing experts, I believe our role is to help maximize what they are doing now, but also to bring them business intelligence to prepare them for the future.

Raman Sehgal is the founder of ramarketing. In a recent Forbes article, he shares the five classic B2B (business to business) marketing mistakes:

1. Positioning is not a priority – How our clients are perceived in the market by their customers and prospects is rarely something that is given thought.

2. Following the crowd – Businesses tend to emulate what others are already doing. Think of car dealers all jumping into the digital space. If one does it, the others follow.

3. Not giving a say to those who sway – If your client is making significant changes, do they involve key stakeholders, employees and key customers?

4. Making it all about you – “We have friendly knowledgeable salespeople, a convenient location and we’re family-owned and have operated for 100 years.”

5. No cohesion between marketing and sales teams

At RAB, we teach being a source of business intelligence and support to your clients. Sharing this list of mistakes could be a great way to have an engaging conversation about the future and solidify you as the type of person clients in your market will trust. Here are some questions you could bring to the meeting for each of the five mistakes (the questions correspond to the numbers above):

1. What is your brand identity in the market? When was the last time you did independent research asking your customers and prospects what they think of you?

2. Your competitors are doing things that presumably are consistent with their goals and KPIs (key performance indicators). Are your goals the same? What would exploring a different approach for your business look like?

3. You’re making a significant change; how do your key team members and customers feel about the pending change? How has their input helped shape the decision?

4. This is going to be harsh… “friendly knowledgeable salespeople, family-owned and have operated for over 100 years” – Nobody cares! What does your product or service do for your customers? Remember rule number one of advertising: People don’t buy products and services; they buy what the product or service does for them. Focus on that.

5. Are your salespeople aware of the marketing campaign we are about to launch? Do they know the details so that when customers refer to commercials, salespeople don’t have the “deer-in-the-headlights look” but can answer questions? Does your sales team recognize the value in your marketing efforts as it relates to driving new business?

Five common mistakes, and a list of questions for each of them. Isn’t it exciting to think about having these types of discussions with your clients and prospects? This is the way the top 10% of sellers engage with clients – not as salespeople, but as business consultants.

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at Jeff.Schmidt@RAB.com. You can also connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB





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