The Competitive Advantage
June 1, 2021
Firms in the Market Research industry are, by nature, operationally-focused. You manage your businesses around delivering services to clients, almost always one project at a time. Virtually everyone on staff is there to contribute to the projects. It’s what you do and who you are. New clients come to you as a result of the good work you do and word of mouth.
Then you make the decision to become more ‘proactive’ with your sales effort. Maybe you bring in a full-time sales rep… or designate a couple of your senior staff as “seller-doers.” Either way, the chances of success with your new sales efforts are dramatically enhanced if you can help to create a ‘sales culture’ within your organization. Without it, you’re likely to stir up rumor, speculation and a lot of resentment.Continue Reading
May 18, 2021
For years, webinars have been a very popular channel for communicating and connecting with the marketplace. And as webinar software platforms have become easier to use, filled with amazing new features and stay very affordable, there’s never been a better time to include webinars in your marketing program.Continue Reading
May 11, 2021
Nearly every firm we speak with says they’re using a sales pipeline as part of their business development process. But they’re really not.
Too many firms think that a sales pipeline is only about what’s at the end of the pipeline (or ‘bottom of the funnel,’ depending on your hardware preference). These firms are concerned only with ‘proposals out in the marketplace’ and the status of those opportunities. And while RFPs are certainly important, focusing on them is a little nearsighted. RFPs are more about the now. What about the future?Continue Reading
May 4, 2021
Over the past couple of months, I’ve been asked to sit in one several of our clients’ weekly [online] sales meetings. It’s been really eye-opening.
Like the vast majority of seller-doers in our industry who have no real sales background, the sales managers in Market Research (with actual titles like President, Owner or Practice Lead) also have no real background as sales managers.
Which, unfortunately, leads to bad sales leadership and guidance and can have a dramatically negative impact on your sales efforts.
To help, here’s a menu of ideas/topics to help you prepare for your future sales meetings…Continue Reading
April 20, 2021
One of the on-boarding activities that we do with all new clients is to take a look back at their business for the past five years. And one of the things we inevitably see – and our clients seem to have forgotten – is the large number of former or lapsed clients. [Or maybe they remember, but just don’t like to be reminded of it.]
What’s really interesting about these former clients is that they stay former. That is, it’s extremely rare to see any of them come back into the ‘current client’ category.
I think this happens for three reasons…Continue Reading
April 13, 2021
This morning, I participated in a Zoom chat with the senior team from one of our clients… there were five of them on the call. At one point, the CEO mentioned that he was receiving sales calls from this particular West Coast fieldwork firm. And before he could finish his comment, two of his colleagues jumped in with comments of their own.
One of them said, “They call me all the time.”
The other said, “They are ‘relentless!’” [And he didn’t mean that in a good way!]
Then the CEO chimed back in, “The kid calling me was obviously new at this… he was so bad that I almost felt sorry for him.”
Nothing was said about their professionalism, helpfulness, that they shared good information, that they had something new to talk about, etc. Just that they were selling hard and pretty bad at it.Continue Reading
March 30, 2021
We’ve all heard the saying that “The cobbler’s children have no shoes”… which means, in business terms, that some companies are really good at doing things for their clients, but not so good at doing those same things for themselves.
And there’s no escaping that predicament in the Market Research industry.
For the nine years we’ve been in business, we’ve worked with scores of market research firms across the U.S. and around the world… and with relatively few exceptions, none of these firms conduct any research on themselves. Specifically, they’re not doing any post-project customer satisfaction surveys.Continue Reading
March 16, 2021
Alternate title: ‘Don’t Be an Order-Taker’
I received a call from a client last week. He said he wanted to talk with me about our sales training workshops. Great! Love to do those!
In my younger days… I would have hopped on the phone call and told him everything about our workshops, all the topics we covered, key takeaways for his employees and what makes it different than any other sales training workshop in our industry. It would have been awesome… at least that’s what I would have thought back then!
But I’m not that guy anymore… I’ve learned a few things.Continue Reading