By Brian Leonard
Could your technology sales business use a more reliable and predictable source of leads? Most likely the answer is yes. Chances are what was working well for you for years is far less effective now.
Ironically, we can lay the blame on technology. Let me explain: CEOs, CTOs and CFOs have more technology options and more visibility into those options than ever before due to the transparency of the Internet and social media. Decision makers also are more connected via these technologies and thus less trusting of vendors they don't know.
That said, technology also has an upside — it has reduced your cost to touch a customer and greatly enhanced your ability to be creative and stand out.
Here are some lessons I've learned in my marketing work with more the 50 telecom businesses over the past three years.
Find Your Niche
The world is moving to niche marketing. There’s one baby formula for regular babies, one for discomforted babies and one for “fussy" babies. If the baby is crying, mom spots the formula for fussy babies and assumes it will solve her problems. What she doesn’t know is that the ingredients are identical among the three — it’s the exact same formula only narrowly targeted by name.
This same approach can be applied to technology sales. Decision makers at every multilocation automobile dealer in the country get 10 calls a month from carriers, agents and consultants who promise to lower their telecom expenses. How many get calls from auto dealer telecom agents/consultants/carriers? Zero.
As behavioral expert Wyatt Woodsmall observed, if you can explain someone’s problem to them better than they can describe it themselves, they naturally assume you have the solution.
Niche marketing, similarly, establishes this credibility before you even begin talking. You stand out from the competition as specialists in your prospect's industry — a position you can demonstrate with messaging on your website and in your collateral materials.
You can and should work in multiple niches and aim to dominate each. The downsides of this strategy are there’s more work up front in developing your messaging and you risk repelling one group to attract another.
Build Your List
Everything starts with your list, so choose it wisely. Where should you get your list? List brokers are risky; some lists are good while others are rotten or burned out. Some list brokers focus on an industry, so if you’ve niched down, you can weed out the good from the bad.