Keeping Your Expert Scrapbook

Round at a friend’s pad for a spot of lunch over the weekend, I noticed a flash looking glossy lying about with the seemingly dull title Global Foreign Exchange Quarterly.  It was produced by a bank eager to prove themselves as thought leaders to their target marketplace, within which my pal as a corporate treasurer sat squarely in the middle.

As you’d hopefully expect from a multi-billion spinning casino, it had a pleasing feel, and I also liked the simplicity of its presentation.  It chose to focus on 5 Themes.  These were what they determined should create the buzz currently in their arena.  Things like long-term US Dollar depreciation and the favourable risk-reward returns likely for dear old Sterling.

For solution sellers that operate in a readily identifiable niche, this struck me as a winning approach to cultivating suspects and accelerating their journey to fully fledged prospects and beyond.

I define my market in terms perhaps a touch too broad for this.  My clients are all solution sale, b2b operations.  I think it would be better if inclusion was as tight as possible.  Along the lines of a shared marketplace and therefore buyer community for instance.  Nevertheless, when I think of the current pressures facing my potential buyers (sales leaders in the aforementioned environment) I realise that I am privy to several such ‘themes’.  Examples include:

  • doing more with less salespeople
  • the removal of discretionary investment spend
  • preventing deals from slipping
  • increased margin squeezing
  • marketing support decimated
  • being told top-line shrinkage is not an option

Whilst some of these could be seen as omnipresent selling factors, there is no doubt that they have amplified significance in the current credit crunch climate.

Furthermore, I am party to how several such sales leaders are traversing the choppy waters caused by them.  Sharing specific examples must surely help my cause.  Admittedly, I see this as already part of this blog’s remit.  Yet if you glean similarly valuable intel, then with the days of having marketing resource to push out glossies on your behalf being probably over, perhaps it’s time to devote an hour a week to doing this yourself.

One zero-cost way to start is by starting your own blog.  It need not be anything terribly fancy.  My experience of the blogosphere is that if you frame what you write as ‘scrapbook’ thoughts, authenticity and insight could combine to create dynamite.

Then all you’ve got to do is get permission to email all your suspects a link once a month and you’re already probably several steps ahead of any competitor salesrep on your turf.

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