11 December 2009

Defining Need: Distinguising between "Need", "Want", and "Like to Have" - Part II

How do you elevate subtle need (aka "Want" or "Like to Have") to true need?

Some would say the answer is to "gate" your valuable pieces of content/marketing (i.e. behind a web form) - but that is close to the age of the dinosaurs.

Instead, you can gather data about your prospects in a much more innocuous way - let's start with the premise that you already know who you are talking to (as in they have a login profile - which I highly recommend for custom communications that are totally customer-centric).

How do you get that very specific data from your prospects - without them really feeling that they are giving up all the details?

You need to structure your campaigns to include communications that require dialogue - and dialogue that has no other purpose than asking for that dialogue. Simply said, stop selling.

Well, not entirely.

For every time that you ask their opinions, their perspectives, their questions, you have an opportunity to move subtle need to more definitive need.

  • In the middle of a webinar, have you ever run a poll?
  • Have you ever sent a pre-course email to prospects asking for the questions that they want to ask the speaker?
  • Post-webinar, have you ever asked for them to comment on the webinar (NOT about product)?
  • Have you surveyed the clients pre and post event?
  • At a live event, have you stopped pushing the product and listened to the prospects comments?
  • Have you actually called each and every prospect to see what they thought of the program?
  • Have you instructed your teams to call before and after support renewal dates just to provide another level of customer support - again, no sales call allowed?

Without doing a variety of these tasks, your teams lose an opportunity to move the subtle need to true need.

Another KISS question for today's posts: "When was the last time that you spoke to your client, non-sales related, before a new deal/support renewal came up?"

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