Business Magazine

Terrain, Technology Or People? (“Why Do You Ask?”)

Posted on the 04 August 2014 by Softscribeinc @SoftscribeInc

One of my colleagues is an avid reader of military strategy. He recently shared an insight:

“Battles are not about terrain, or technology – they’re about people.
You fight people.”

Homecoming Marine by Norman Rockwell

“Homecoming Marine” by Norman Rockwell

It is the same with marketing. It’s not about data, technology or markets; it’s about people. We marketers fight to understand the user experience. We battle for mind share.

How do we win a valued relationship with a customer or prospect?
Questions. We ask questions and then LISTEN, says my colleague.

“Relationships let people communicate their experiences. When you understand a person’s experience, you can offer effective solutions that create a more harmonious business experience.”

-My Esteemed Colleague

What is the secret that builds lasting relationships with our customers and prospects? Trust builds when we listen, empathize, and sincerely care about that person for a moment during the sales cycle. We ask leading questions. Below are a few you can try at the Hotel Data Conference, August 12 to 14, in Nashville, or wherever you happen to meet with
your prospects.

And a thousand flowers to Adele Revella, founder of the Buyer Persona Institute, who coached the Softscribe Inc. team on how to listen and ask salient questions.

The Lineman by Norman Rockwell

“The Lineman” by Norman Rockwell

Here is the first question to ask to gain the information that leads to a lasting relationship with prospects during the sales cycle:

  • “Take me back to the moment in time when you first started looking for (a technology solution) to solve your problem? What happened for you that day? What changed?”

Then ask the person to tell you their story. What did they do to evaluate their options and make a decision? Ask interesting follow up questions to discover:

  • How buyers describe a successful outcome of purchasing
    that solution;
  • What barriers prevented them from solving it sooner;
  • Who was involved in the decision and what mattered to
    those other people;
  • How the buyer explains their must-have features, functions,
    price, or any aspect of company service.

Teacher’s Birthday by Norman Rockwell

“Teacher’s Birthday” by Norman Rockwell

August ushers in Smith Travel Research’s 5th Annual Hotel Data Conference in Nashville. Rumor has it that Randy and Carolyn Smith select the menu themselves, and the food is always five-STAR. If you are already registered, and would like to meet to discuss your technology business goals, please give me a shout now. I look forward to seeing you in Nashville, and travel well.


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