Why you need to get better at conveying value to win business
Have you ever missed out on an opportunity you really deserved to win?
Struggled to explain what you offer to people who just don’t seem to understand? Maybe you’ve watched by helplessly as a prospective customer made a decision that you knew was not right for them. When you do great work, and sell great products, these situations are frustrating, difficult, and unfortunately, very common. So why does this happen, and what can we do about it?
Like it or not, the way that buyers and sellers communicate has fundamentally changed. In the past, deals were done on a handshake, and personal relationships had a lot of power. Now, if you’re selling to individuals, potential customers research their options online, and are often two-thirds of the way through their decision making process before they will talk to you.
If you’re selling to companies, you’ll find that most deals of any size and value are transacted through the customer’s procurement or purchasing department. These buyers are also frustratingly difficult to talk to.
Recently, I attended a seminar on contract management with about 50 other people, most of them buyers for corporations and government entities. Afterwards, one buyer asked the seminar presenter how she would recommend getting market intelligence about potential suppliers. The answer came back immediately: “Google”.
In this environment, it is very difficult to get noticed and to assert your value. However, this is not an entirely new phenomenon.
Back in Renaissance Italy, many people aspired to make a living from their art. However, a lucky few artists were able to find financial support from wealthy patrons who became admirers, and then supporters, of their work.
This system had benefits for both parties. Artists received a living wage, access to luxury materials (such as gold and lapis lazuli) and commissions to produce art on a size and scale they could otherwise only dream of. Patrons used the art they produced as a means of expressing and enhancing their social status. Without this patronage system, we wouldn’t have many of the works of brilliant artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo or Raphael.
Today, as it was then, the ability to communicate your true value is the key to unlocking more of what you want – more customers, higher margins, and more rewarding work.
Your customers make buying decisions with the help of their gut, head and heart.
With their gut, they’re forming an impression of cost and risk. Author and neuroendocrinologist Dr Deepak Chopra says that gut feelings are “every cell in our body making a decision”. Buying decisions are often triggered by fear, and we can help our customers to understand and protect against their fears.
With their head, they’re analysing productivity and complexity. The head drives logic, and most of us have way too much going on in there to be logical about all of it. This phenomenon is known as cognitive load, and we can play a role in reducing this burden for our customers.
Buyers also want to make an impact and create a legacy. With their heart, they’re deciding whether you are the person they trust to set them on a different – smarter and better – path than they would be able to choose on their own.
When you are pitching for new business, thinking about the commercial value you generate - and not just the work you do - helps you to move your attention from inwards on yourself, to outwards on the customer and their needs. This, in turn, helps to break down the barriers you will face in communicating your value to customers, and protects you against becoming a commodity.
Robyn Haydon is the author of three books on business development: her Winning Business series includes Winning Again (customer retention), The Shredder Test (winning proposals) and the recently-released Value: how to talk about what you do so people want to buy it.
Amobee Appoints Nick Brien As CEO
In its latest strategic move, Amobee—a global multimedia advertising leader—announced that Nick Brien will be its Chief Executive Officer. The company is entirely owned by Singtel, Asia’s leading communications technology organisation, which provides consumers with mobile, broadband, and TV and businesses with data hosting, cloud, network infrastructure, analytics, and cybersecurity tools.
Brien, who has worked for Microsoft, Intel, P&G, and American Express, will take over to drive the next generation of advertising tech. Said Evangelos Simoudis, Chairman of the Board of Amobee: ‘Nick has the deep expertise in advertising that we need to seize the market opportunities ahead’.
How Did Brien Get Here?
Before joining Amobee, Brien led 15,000 people across 40 divisions as CEO of the Americas for Dentsu International. For thirty years, he’s helped brands pilot unique advertisements, keeping up with the latest trends. He’s served as CEO of McCann Worldgroup, global CEO of IPG Mediabrands, President of Hearst Marketing Services, and CEO of iCrossing. Over the course of his career, he’s consistently strategised how to keep up with digital shifts. Now, he’ll capitalise on Amobee’s legions of experienced data scientists and developers.
‘I’m excited to be joining Amobee at such a transformative time in our industry’, Brien explained. ‘We’ll pilot advertising accountability and intelligent decisioning. And there’s no doubt in my mind that optimising media performance—whether you’re targeting, planning, buying, or delivering—can only be achieved using applied science, machine learning, and data analytics’.
What Does This Mean for Amobee?
Amobee is set on growing its personal brand within the advertising sector. As APAC social media influencers, Gen Z growth hackers, and viral content producers start to enter the field, established companies will be working doubly hard to keep up. Amobee, however, is still looking good. With a Gartner Magic Quadrant for Ad Tech, a Forrester New Wave recognition, and now, Nick Brien as CEO, the firm is set up for success.