We are entering a unique time in sales and marketing. Our prospects and clients are navigating new business challenges and opportunities, and there is ample opportunity to help. Executives and leaders need to adapt their messaging to remain relevant during a time of great change. How to stay relevant? We need to look for data, information, and answers about how situations have changed for our customers and their prospects.
How to Develop a Relevant Message Today
1. Gather fresh feedback from customer-facing personnel.
In one case, target prospects included technology executives and production executives. Talk with anyone in your company who recently conversed with current customers, contacts or prospects in your target market. Where possible, interview those in Sales, Pre-Post Sales Engineers, Product Managers, CEOs and COOs to identify:
- What new challenges/opportunities customer executives face in delivering to their customers
- How customer needs have changed
- How customer solutions – whether old, new, or adapted — helped solve immediate challenges in the past
We need to do more than review past success stories or client testimonials. The challenges that helped your clients overcome in those pieces are probably (May 18, 2020)’s news. Any up-to-date data about the challenges customers face would come fresh from the company professionals who are in constant contact with customers and prospects.
2. Review customer feedback with executives.
Collaborate with your company’s executives. The financial services company confirmed that:
- Certain financial service institutions were no longer offering certain products to their customers
- The financial services company had customers looking to them for new products and services
- Many of the financial services customers would not be in a position to make payments
- All of the financial services company employees were working remotely
3. Read industry news.
Subscribe to and read industry publications. Why? You need to check the pulse of the industry, your prospects, your customers, your partners, and your competitors:
- Any challenges solved?
- Any opportunity surfaced?
- Who is changing jobs?
- Who is merging?
- Any product/service updates?
- Who has new customers?
- Do competitors or partners have updates?
Trade presses in this financial services firm’s industry, revealed that a particular prospect was prospering and thriving during the pandemic. The prospect was hiring front line sales officers and efficiently running their internal operations to meet customer demand. Having this information allowed the financial service company to:
- Craft a human, personalized, sensitive, relevant message to this prospect
- Stand out in a noisy crowd
- Truly help this company in hiring and running an efficient operation.
Imagine if it was assumed times were hard for this prospect. A far different (and more damaging) message would likely have been delivered to the prospect, assuming they had been laying off workers, running inefficiently or closing their doors. Instead, a well-informed message reflected how a product offering could help them with their current opportunity: keeping up with growth.
4. Check social media posts.
Another place to find out about current challenges facing your customers and prospects is to read their personal and business social posts. Review social posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Search for current executive interviews. Remember that the interview an executive gave before the pandemic may have become irrelevant since the health crisis.
This financial services company researched a strategic prospect. Voilà! A video interview with the CEO during the pandemic was found, in which he compared the old challenges with the new challenges his firm faced. He described how the situation had changed for customers and employees, where they felt prepared, and where they felt unprepared to solve pandemic-related issues. All this — straight from the CEO.
What insights are you missing?
Is Your Message Relevant? Let’s Find Out
We are seeing a time of change in just about every industry. How will your messaging remain relevant? The information is there if you know how to look for it and use it.