- How to Sell to Market Research Buyers, Part 3
- How to Sell to Market Research Buyers, Part 2
- How to Sell to Market Research Buyers, Part 1
- 5½ [behind-the-scenes] Marketing & Sales Activities You Need To Do in December
- Got something to say?
- Running a small firm? Who holds you accountable?
- Marketing & Sales Success Begins with a Simple Step… Thinking!
- Your Sales Forecast Doesn’t Have to be a Guessing Game!
- Lead generation is a 3-step process.
- Measuring Sales… it’s Not just about Revenue
- 7 Selling Behaviors Seller-Doers Must Employ to be Successful.
- Can you really be “all things to all people?”
- 12 Marketing & Sales Activities you Gotta STOP this Year!
- How to maximize the impact of your marketing investment.
- Revenue Growth? Try the ‘5% Challenge’… it’s Brilliant!
- Should you ever walk away from revenue?
- Get Ready for 2017 with these 6 Marketing & Sales Activities
- 20 Marketing and Sales Concepts Business Leaders Need to Know, Part 2
- 20 Marketing and Sales Concepts Business Leaders Need to Know, Part 1
- 10 Guidelines for How to Be Successful at Sales
- Strategy Before Tactics!
- 6 Marketing & Sales Lessons Learned in our First 4 Years in Business
- The Sales Presentation: Stop Reading the PowerPoint Slides and Tell Your Story
- Content Marketing not working? Eh, don’t worry about it!
- Marketing Measurement: 3 New Methods You Have to Try in 2016
- The One Thing You Must Include in Your 2016 Marketing & Sales Plan
- Not using LinkedIn? Are you kidding me?!
- Is it OK to fire a client?
- Take Charge of Your Own Success… Stop Relying on Others!
- Getting first-time clients to take a chance on you.
- 9 Ways to Build your Business During the Summer Slowdown
- The Top 10 Ways to Build Awareness
- The 13 Most Common Website Mistakes
- The Most Important Part of Exhibiting
- Content marketing isn’t a one-time thing… it’s an all-the-time thing.
- THINKING! A framework for creating better business plans in 2015.
- Not happy with your marketing & sales? Then make just one change in 2015!
- For Beginners: Should I Tweet Daily? Yes… and here’s how.
- Got your Marketing Plan for 2015? No?! Now’s a good time to start…
- How to Connect with Booth Visitors – An Exhibitor’s Worksheet
- Not getting the email results you want? Make sure you’re following these 7 email marketing guidelines.
- 10 Ways to Get Clients to Sell FOR You (and they won’t cost a dime!)
- Do you know where you’re going? Why Strategy should drive your marketing & sales.
- 11 execution tips to help you exceed client expectations
- How to Turn First-time Clients into Repeat Clients
- 15 easy, low-cost marketing and sales tactics for 2014 – Part 2
- 15 easy, low-cost marketing and sales tactics for 2014 – Part 1
- 13 Lessons for Researchers Who Don’t Want (or Like) to Sell
- Social media marketing success in 30 minutes a day
- Get it right! You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
- It’s not that complicated! A common sense approach to the marketing & sales process.
- How MR firms are blowing it with new customers: Lessons learned while secret shopping
- Management or sales… you can’t serve two masters.
- Prove it! Nine ways to convince prospects to work with you for the first time.
- Five everyday ways to grow your business
- How that ‘one great client’ could doom your firm
- Six marketing and sales mistakes MR firms make every day
- Eight proven ways to build awareness – and why you should!
- Suspects, Prospects and Clients: Is your firm focused on the right target?
- A Checklist for Conducting Your Own Marketing & Sales Audit
- Learning to play the game: What football can teach us about marketing
- Differentiating your firm in a crowded marketplace
- 25 low- or no-cost ways to grow your business
- 15 Reasons E-mail Still Matters in Sales and Marketing
- Come prepared, dress the part and follow up: 10 dos for exhibiting at MR trade shows
- No rookies, no gum and no Frisbees: 10 don’ts for exhibiting at MR trade shows
- How to see yourself as clients see you
- Marketing 101: It takes Work to make it Work
- Use the 8 Ps of Marketing when Setting Strategy
- Integrate the 4 As of Marketing into Your Planning
- Size Does Matter: 4 Approaches to Growing Your Business
- The 12 Guiding Principles of Marketing (part 2)
- The 12 Guiding Principles of Marketing (part 1)
How to Sell to Market Research Buyers, Part 2
This is the second in a monthly series of articles based on interviews with corporate research and insights professionals from a variety of Fortune 5000 corporations. In this series, we’ll explore the best ways for you to connect with market research buyers during the buying & selling process.
In last month’s post, we interviewed Kristin DeGraff, Senior Manager, Consumer Insights for Constellation Brands. This month, our guest is Richard Tanner, Customer Insights Manager/Product Marketing at CareerBuilder.
Richard, I really appreciate you taking the time to help us out for this article. Let’s start with a question about Content Marketing and its use by many insights agencies to build awareness and showcase their thought leadership or expertise. Does content (blogs, eBooks, white papers etc.) help to influence your perception of a firm or your buying decision?
“Yes, if the content is compelling in terms of my business needs. Where content misses the mark is when it focuses too much on new methodologies or techniques and not enough on how the resulting insights improve business outcomes. Case studies can be great if they tell a story of how an insights partnership led to tangible business results. However, I understand case studies are sometimes hard to produce and publicize widely given privacy concerns.”
What about social media? Do you engage with suppliers on Social Media (connect on LinkedIn, follow on Twitter, etc.)? If so, do you use that engagement as part of your evaluation process of potential suppliers? Does it matter if a supplier has a limited or no social presence?
“This might sound a bit contradictory, considering I rarely engage with suppliers on social media and prefer in-person, but I do think it matters that suppliers have a social presence. To me, a social presence is a part of the overall online presence and I see that as critically important when looking up high-level information about the supplier. Going online to do basic background research (via search) is such ingrained behavior that lacking an online presence can raise concerns, whether unwarranted or not, about the capabilities and professionalism of the supplier.”
Richard, when you (or your colleagues) attend conferences… do you go to market research-focused events, those that are focused on the vertical you work in or other types?
“Yes, I go to a few market research-focused events each year. My focus is usually on small to midsize events that I think provide new learning opportunities. I think in-person networking is important, worthwhile, and mutually beneficial. However, I also think there are certain conferences many corporate insights people avoid because of the downright salesy nature of the event. There is one really big annual conference that I know has this negative reputation among the community. Most people are fine with a reasonable mix of sales pitches and thought leadership or best practices learning opportunities but it should be a complementary mix.”
If you are on an email list from a supplier, what would you want to see in their emails that would keep you wanting to receive those emails (rather than opting out)?
“This is a tough one because I think, more and more, everyone’s default is to simply ignore non-critical email altogether. There is just too much and it has crossed the line of being informative vs. overwhelming. Personal 1:1 outreach is so much more effective than list mailing but there are obviously scalability issues with that approach. Here’s my best advice – try to focus on making them entertaining (clever, humorous, catchy) in some way rather than information overload. It’s not an easy thing to do well, but engagement will be higher and you’ll be more likely to impact your perception among the audience.”
What is the #1 thing a potential supplier can do to get on your “short list” for consideration?
“Sharing thought-provoking information that shows they have substantive industry knowledge to help our business. If they can get me thinking about an overall industry challenge in a new or different way then I’m all ears and it’s a very good indicator they will be a valuable partner and not ‘just a supplier.’”
Richard, describe the perfect capabilities presentation from a potential supplier?
“First of all, I think it should be in-person. It should include some macro-level information that contextualizes industry changes and challenges and then shows specifically how they can help provide insights to make better decisions in terms of those challenges. Do your research before attempting to sell your research. Modern methodologies and best practices are really only relevant if they are an improved solution which will lead to better business outcomes. Also, it needs to look high quality from a visual standpoint.”
Describe the perfect proposal from a potential supplier?
“Three pages! Now hear me out… Page one – what are the top business questions we need new insights to inform decisions on? Page two – how are you going to design the project (think methodology) to focus on what’s really important? Page three – when will the results be available and what is the required investment to make it all work? Idealistic, I know, but this would be perfect in my eyes.”
OK, last question… All things (services, pricing, timeframe) being equal between potential suppliers bidding on a project, how do you make your decision?
“For me it’s ‘services’ which in this case I’m using as a proxy for ‘quality.’ I can have internal conversations defending pricing and timing but I can’t share low quality thinking or work commissioned externally and get the necessary buy-in.”
Richard, thanks again for your time and the insights. Our blogs readers will be very appreciative.
Don’t forget to check back next month for Part 3 in this series about selling to market research buyers.