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How Will You Grab Buyer's Attention This Fall? Is Your Value Proposition Provocative Enough to Get You To the Top of the List?
Only a few projects on any organization's list of initiatives stand a chance of getting funded any time soon. So, if what you sell cannot be positioned as an essential part of one of these initiatives, your chance for success is slim at best. Unfortunately, investments in new product categories rarely get funded out of existing budgets. Instead, the funding must come from anticipated savings or new sources of revenue unleashed by solving a critical problem. So, the big question is, "Can you offer a compelling reason to be on the list?" Here's a hint, it better be provocative. Provocations help customers see their competitive challenges in a new light that makes addressing them seem extremely urgent. So, if you want to get on the list or get to the top of the list faster, here are some helpful tips about building a good provocation:
A Good Provocation:
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Do You Know What Your Buyers Hope For?
Charles Revson, the founder of Revlon once said, "In the factory we make cosmetics, in the stores we sell hope." Are you addressing what your customers hope for? Far too often that answer is, "no". Your message gets buried with product features, technology and specifications that cause your prospects’ eyes to glaze over. Until you understand the emotional drivers behind your customers' buying decisions, your sales pitch will merely deliver information, not inspiration. Here are three easy steps to find out more about what's on your customers’ minds.
1. Do your research. If you don't have a research budget - Use Google! Tap into the people who get paid to stay on top of industry trends (i.e. Trade journalists, management consultants, bloggers, etc.) Look at the editorial calendars of your trade publications and presentation topics at upcoming industry events to find out what topics are trending. Stay informed.
2. Talk to existing customers. If you don't have a budget for an advisory board or focus group, talk to your customers. Find out what they are excited and worried about going into the next year. Are there new regulations coming or pressures for greater efficiency? What would make their work lives better? What motivates their buying decisions?
3. Tell them what to hope for! If you can't find a new trend you can sell into - create one. Test the story on trusted colleagues and measure their reaction. Does it excite them? Does it create belief in your solution? Remember you are far more likely to attract a following and create brand loyalty if you address your buyers' hopes and needs.