It’s Not Visibility You Want, Today You Need Qualified Relevance

I read this week a post on LinkedIn begging that as we move into a recession that people don't cut their visibility budget. 

This person argued that 5 years ago, yes, that long ago, he had his visibility budget cut and the business never survived.

Here's a person that is talking as if mobile, the internetCovid-19 and social media never happened. 

Are people really betting their business on what they did 5 years ago?

In this video by Eric Doyle of Crux Consulting and DLA Ignite partner asks the question.

"Who are the leading technical and commercial digital influencers in your sector?"

We often ask this question of leadership teams when we meet them and we always get blank stares.

The opportunity to be the leading technical and commercial digital influencer in your sector is wide open

Why? Because I can guarantee you, in your market, nobody has worked this out yet. 

So why isn't it you and your team?

We know all business want visibility?

Marketing will tell you that they need visibility on social media. Research shows that the modern buyer is there and they are looking for your products and services.

But you don't get visibility from adverts, (paid media) we all ignore adverts, you don't get visibility by telling the employees to post brochures on social media. In fact all that does it train the algorithm and your customers to ignore you. 

As Eric points out in this video, visibility is temporary and fickle.

You don't need visibility you need qualified relevance

Where's the research that backs this up? - Edelman and LinkedIn's B2B thought leadership impact study, research here states that.

"64% of buyers say that an organization's thought-leadership content is a more trustworthy basis for assessing its capabilities and competency than its marketing materials and product sheets."

"63% of buyers also say that thought leadership provides proof that an organization genuinely understands or can solve your specific business challenges."

Of course, no business who expect to punch through the thought leadership glass ceiling with brochures and brochureware. You wouldn't read that rubbish, so why would your prospects?  

Our buyers want real thought leadership and that's what gets us qualified relevance. 

Define your industry, be the anchor

What does that all mean from a business perspective? 

It means you are defining the industry narrative and you create the centre and all your competitors will then have to work to your definition.

I'll give you an example. Yesterday I spoke to a senior leader in an AI piece of software that helps support desks for business to consumer customers, their clients tend to be apparel and fashion.

This business leader pointed out that all his competitors use chatbots, they do not.

So here is a business with a clear understanding of the business issue they solve, but are getting "beat up" by companies offering a lower price solution. Chatbots are often deemed as sexy. The customer is confused and cannot work out the difference.

Then create the difference, become the leader technical commercial influencer in your space and define the market. Be the centre. Be the anchor. 

So who's doing this?

Check out OGV Energy (website), which sees itself as a hub for the energy sector.

It's Linkedin page, here, has 68,000 followers and you will see that the posts on this site are NOT about OGV Energy, they are about the energy sector, their customers.

Real qualified relevance

What I want to draw your attention to is the Live streams that they do, here is an example, check out the LinkedIn live version here and the YouTube version here. (Same recording the are streaming it across multiple social media platforms for greater "reach".) 

If you check out the Linkedin Live, there are over 250 people watching from around the world, 43 likes and 37 comments, this IS qualified relevance.

This is the leading technical and commercial digital influencer in the energy sector.

One more point ...... can you imagine what it feels like to be OGV Energy's competitor who missed out on this, didn't take the opportunity, (like I'm telling you now) and let it slip through their fingers.

Just think about the money left on the table, the competitive advantage OGV Energy have, the work the competitor has to do to claw this position back and maybe even the jobs that were lost. 

So the next time we ask you

Who are the leading technical and commercial digital influencers in your sector?

You need to answer.

"it's us".

Thanks to Eric and his video for the inspiration behind this blog. 

Now picture this

Tomorrow, you and I are going to meet at the lobby of your target customer. 

Go with me on this.

Imagine that I have a key card to get into the building, we wave to security and I let you through the security barriers. Impressive eh!

We walk over to the elevators and I press the button to go up to the relevant floors where we can meet with the people you need to sell to. Now you have never met these people before so i will introduce you. That will mean you will get to meet the people you need to meet in this target customer of yours.

Pick whatever department you want, I will take you there and introduce you. 

For example, say you sell accounting systems, ERP systems, then I can take you and introduce you to the people in Finance. Or maybe you sell human resources (HR) software and I take you to meet the HR people. Or maybe you sell CRM, customer experience (CX) and I can take you to meet all the people in marketing and sales.

Now if I walked you into finance, (or any of the other departments) and I started to introduce you to the people there one-by-one. Now, you wouldn't hand everybody a brochure and walk away, would you? 

This is your chance to get into the business, meet the people, build relationships. Kinda cool! 

As I introduce you to the people in your target department, you would hand them your business card. You might get people to scan the QR code on LinkedIn so you are connected. 

Either way you would also want to be remembered. So you might ask them a question about themsleves, maybe you spot that Manchester United mug on their desk, the Nick Saban bobblehead (doll). The photo of their family on their desk, you would start a conversation about them. You might crack a joke. You would start building trust. Maybe you would ask them about the business, be curious about them and the company?

As I walk you around the department, and introduce you to more and more people, you would get to know more and more people and the department would get to know you. In fact the whole department will know you, just think of the competitive advantage you now have.

We haven't needed to talk about product, we are connecting as humans, we are having conversations. We are being social. 

Just through this simple way of showing you around and introducing you to people, you are front of mind and your competition is not. This is so powerful!

I've now walked you around the whole department, they know you, you know them. It's time to see the big boss and I take you in and introduce you. 

You look around the office and see the photos of her fly fishing, you talk about when you had a fly fishing lesson in Scotland when you visited there last. You connect. 

One of the things we do in life is find commonality with each other, because when we do that we start to know, like and trust each other.  

You then ask her some of the business related issues you picked these pointers up from her staff you have been talking to.  

If it's finance you might ask her about how long it takes to close the month end books, if it's human resources it might be about sourcing internal talent, if it's CRM you might ask about onboarding sales people.

I could go on, but you should get the picture now. 

It does not matter if you know nobody in this company, they could even be using a competitive solution. But by the time I've walked you around, they know you, they know you as a human, they are aware that you work for a company and you didn't even need to pitch to them. Now it's time to start moving some of those conversations to commercial interaction.

This is social selling

Now you can stop imagining, what I've described to you is social selling.

This is so powerful, so natural and is the killer blow you need today. 

Related: Have We Lost the Art of Conversation in Sales?