Many of you know Charles Green's substantive Trusted Advisor work. He sent me a new piece recently, in which he says: "The best way for a client to learn how to work with you is to let them work with you. Create a sample experience."
These two short sentences offer an incredibly good articulation of how to integrate marketing and selling.
Green writes: "Sample selling the services might mean brainstorming; a small project; a lunch-and-learn; a webinar; a series of articles; a series of conversations for which you don’t bill time; sharing of some previous work."
Now read that sentence again.
Green's points raise three huge issues, each of which pertains to the powerful benefits of integrating Marketing and Selling in professional and B2B firms.
- Marketers and practitioners, working together, can map out a series of well-integrated sample experiences for strategically-targeted clients and prospects. By thinking about offering sample experiences, they are encouraged to let go of old paradigms of what should be in the marketer's purview (webinars, a series of articles) and what should be in the practitioner's purview (conversations for which you don't bill time; a small project). Instead, they can consider the best outcome of that sample experience: to acquire, retain or build share-of-wallet with strategically appropriate clients.
- By considering how they might offer different sample experiences depending on the outcome they seek (acquire, retain and build share-of-wallet), marketers and practitioners can begin to break down their notion of what the firm really sells. Is it protected (but hide-bound) methodologies and relationships? Or is it the dedication to solve the client's problem in a uniquely favorable way?
- Too many professional and B2B firms are stuck trying to measure the ROI of tactical marketing or selling programs that are too loosely tied to real marketplace outcomes (acquire, retain or build share-of-wallet with strategically appropriate clients). If they worked together to create sample experiences, they'd more quickly break down these old notions of measuring ROI.
Write to me and let me know how your firm is doing at creating sample experiences. What's worked? What are your lessons learned?