MKTX | Lower Your Risk of Losing the Sale
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Lower Your Risk of Losing the Sale

In business-to-business selling (and buying), especially when technology products are involved, risk plays a large role. It’s not unusual for your prospect to be betting his or her business (or their job) in large part on your product or service’s ability to live up to your claims. Most of them don’t want to be left “out on a limb” by themselves if something should go wrong or an expectation goes unfulfilled. You’ve heard the cliché about the pioneers being the ones with the arrows in their backs. Some customers are willing to adopt new technologies, and they’re literally worth their weight in gold to you – if you take good care of them – because they’re the ones who will provide the stories that will show others that your product or service is worth buying.

The infamous “chasm”

One of our favorite books is the classic “Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey Moore. In the book, Moore makes the point that there’s a gap between the initial interest that a product or service gains with the early adopters and the increase in demand that is represented by the mass market sales that are required to make the product a success. What is required in order to get across the chasm is the demonstration that the product or service delivers significant value against that of its competitors.

Demonstrating the value

Demonstrating that value is the stuff of a successful marketing content development program. By sharing stories of how a company’s product solved a problem or met a particular need in a unique way, a company reduces the perceived risk that prospective customers see in buying from them. Expressing the value sometimes takes creativity, particularly in the case where a product could be regarded as a commodity at first glance, or when the vendor is unproven. That’s why we place a lot of emphasis on developing solid positioning and messaging in our marketing plans, and in case studies that we develop to support a client’s messaging.

Editors are risk-averse, too

Many magazine editors are similar to customers in casting a wary eye on new technologies. They’ve been burned before and don’t want to risk their credibility on a “flash-in-the-pan.” Because of this, one of the most frequently-asked questions during an editor’s follow-up to a new product press release is often “who’s using your product.” You should be prepared for this question – or even head it off by including a case study in your press kit and mentioning it in your meetings with the press.

Be prepared to address prospects’ questions relating to risk and you’ll sell more products or services sooner.

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Bob Patterson
bobp@mktx.com

Leader of MKTX since its founding in 1998, Bob Patterson has over 30 years of experience in high-tech marketing. Bob received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Wharton School. He began his career at Intel Corporation where, during his 11 year tenure, he was part of the team of people instrumental in laying the foundations for Intel's success in the microprocessor market. Bob left Intel in 1987 and co-founded RadiSys Corporation, an Intel spin-off dedicated to exploiting the "Wintel" hardware/software standardization phenomenon in markets outside of desktop computing. As RadiSys' first VP of marketing and sales, Bob developed and executed the company's initial marketing plans and set up RadiSys' early sales channels. When Bob needs a break from cranking out strategies and content for our clients, he takes to the skies of the Northwest in his Cessna or his RV-12.