I am not a fan of most “best practices” as they generally reflect ideas that “everyone is doing.” As a result, they are great for becoming more efficient, but they often don’t help you stand out. But “next practices” are things that not everyone does. They could help you stand apart from alternatives. I was thinking of one the other day that inspired this post.
The inspiration–#FridayFails (for fans, more are coming starting this week). In those posts, a regular theme is a plea for marketing, SDRs, and/or sales reps to be more prepared and targeted. But, I acknowledge, sometimes it is hard to know what matters to the customer (although a failure to do some basic preparation is inexcusable). That is where the idea came from. But it is not about getting that initial interest. It’s for what happens next.
After you’ve had an initial conversation that had some level of discovery, you should know something more about the customer and their challenges/interests. Now you can take meaningful action.
Next Practice Idea: Make this a mandatory follow-up of any call where you learn something from the customer.
- Based on the discussion, the SDR/rep searches for information that is relevant to the discussion (on the Internet or other sources that the customer could access).
- Identify 2 to 3 pieces of “independent” content–not from the company and not about your products–that you will share with the customer. (Share followups about your products and services when it makes sense, but keep that separate from this.)
- Send the links to them with some commentary on why you chose them and why you think they should read it.
I have not heard of this being a practice that anyone follows (and I asked a few folks I trust and they felt the same), but here is why I believe it would be of value:
- It shows that you listened, that you care, and that you are willing to do some work for the customer
- It builds trust as you demonstrate that helping them is not solely about you, your company, and your products/services
- It should trigger interest in further engagement. As that evolves, and your products fit, you can shift more focus there.
A side benefit might be that it may help you think about discovery a little differently, working harder to uncover issues and challenges that can be explored and researched.
Thoughts? Is this doable? Anyone willing to try it and share the results?
I’m excited about the possibilities. It may not get them focused on your products as soon as some would like. I’d counter that focusing on the customer is more likely to guide them back to you than peppering them with product info too soon.
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