Following up on his invigorating session at the Fall 2006 Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Washington, D.C., Steve Shepard, professional author and educator, will again energize agents, this time with a discussion on Telecom Marketing 101 in a vendor presentation brought to you by XO Communications Inc. (Booths 107-109) Too many people believe that marketing and sales are the same thing, and thats absolutely not true, Shepard says.
Agents need to view themselves, and their competition, through a different lens, he explains. To wit, Shepard will build on the wildly successful Blue Ocean Strategy, a theory that teaches salespeople to make the competition irrelevant, rather than just trying to beat them.
The key to doing this in telecom is to be a true solutions provider, Shepard says. Solution selling, he says, means doing everything one can to understand what is plaguing the market. How are businesses being challenged by economic forces? Once such questions are answered, an agent can tell a potential client, Ive been looking at your company and I understand it so well that I can address your problem, Shepard notes. Even if you lose, he adds, theres honor in losing theres no honor in being irrelevant.
Shepard will talk about the science of marketing, giving agents tools to approach their jobs in ways weve never seen before. He will employ some acronyms to make his point, namely, the four Ps and the five Ms. The former stand for product, price, placement and promotion. The latter stand for mission, message, media, money and measurement. The whole idea is to build a solid marketing strategy, then pursue customers, Shepard says. That strategy will call for some self-analysis. Shepard will ask agents whether theyre helping to make customers more competitive, thereby raising their revenue, and whether theyre helping clients reduce costs. That, he says, captures the essence of what it means to be relevant.
Not surprisingly, Shepard will present an interactive session. The only way information sticks with people is if they take part in the process of creating it, he says. Lets get the energy up and get the people involved.