By Dave Brock
Insight is all the rage. We’ve rediscovered the concept of teaching our customers, bringing them ideas, helping them think differently. It’s actually not that new, great sales people tend to do this naturally. However, all the writing, training, and tools around Insight are important in helping build nimbleness around developing, communicating, and engaging customers in commercial teaching.
Marketing is developing attractive content, hoping to develop higher levels of interest and customer engagement. Legions of sales people, fresh out of training, are being unleashed on customers, hoping to inspire them with the latest Whiteboard, Prezi, and PowerPoint presentations. All presenting compelling infographics, the latest analytics, and data.
But too often, it’s the last piece that’s missing. As you might expect it’s the most important piece. It’s the part of the discussion where the sales person says, “…. and this is what it means to you…”
Until we translate all the information, data, knowledge about the markets, application, and industry in to specific for the customer, we aren’t providing Insight.
Insight has to be specific to the customer. It always has to move from general information, statistics, and data to specifics for the customer–the enterprise and the individual. We must be able to finish the thought on “…and this is what it means to you…”
Typically, finishing the thought means we know enough about the customer to make statements like:
You could achieve this …..(a specific goal in a specific time frame.)
You would eliminate these (specific) problems achieving these (specific) results.
You would capture these (specific) opportunities, producing these (specific) results, in this (specific) timeframe.
You would increase/decrease this (specific) in this (specific) timeframe, producing this (specific) result.
You would be able to do this (specific), which you have never done before.
If we are going to engage the customer and have an impact on them and their businesses, we have to personalize the Insight.
We can do this if we’ve invested enough time in wandering around the customer, looking at how they get things done, identifying problems or opportunities.
We can do this by doing our homework, doing thoughtful research on the customer (usually the enterprise), developing models of the impact we might be able to create.
We can to this by engaging the customer in collaborative discussions, jointly discovering and developing the Insights that are specific, unique, and relevant to them.
Insights are powerful. Because they are specific and unique to the customer, they have the potential of capturing their minds and hearts. They can create great incentive and ownership in changing. To get the most power, make sure the Insight always ends with “…and this is what it means to you….”