In this digital age sellers now have to take on an additional job role and become a marketeer. Creating a personal brand that raises your profile above the rest, sharing your expertise and knowledge as well as leveraging the online world to ensure that you become identified as the eminent leader in that field are all important.
So why does eminence matter?
You have called, written, called again – you believe that the potential customer should be interested in talking to you, but they never return your call. Why?
Understanding buyer behaviour is key; they have limited time and will have recognised sources of influence. It may be their boss, their colleagues or their peers – whoever it is; they are listening to them – not you.
To become heard you have to start seeing their position from their world. This was summed up by a CEO who said:
“I don’t have any time to listen to a sales pitch … but I have all day to talk to a peer I can bounce ideas off and get real insight from. If more salespeople made the type of call where I’d be willing to write a cheque for their time, they’d have a better chance of winning contracts. The product they’re selling is less important than knowing you’re in expert hands.”
The challenge you have is that the CEO doesn’t want to buy a product or service and probably isn’t the slightest bit interested that you have ten percent off today. Unless your story resonates with their challenge – then in most cases you are wasting your time.
Then we get to the second part of the challenge – why should they listen to you?
Influence through association
Perhaps the direct approach is not always the best. If we want to influence the CEO but they are not listening to us, then we need to work out WHO they do listen to. In such circumstances understanding their ‘web of influence’ may well give us a clue as to who we should use as a conduit for our message. Understanding where buyers get their influences from changes the communication process and the target audience. In your industry who are the influential bodies and why?
Perhaps the CEO is interested in thought leadership and would be interested in your companies position in a particular area. Create a web of influence and work out who you should be targeting and with what message.
Now we get to the nub of the issue.
If you are not known in your industry or product area then why should someone listen to you? You may well have the thought leadership, expertise and the skills BUT unless you are prepared to share those thoughts and become known for them, then nobody will be listening.
Being known for your skills and opinions is eminence and that is why eminence matters.
What are your thoughts?