Recently, we have been looking at ways to express, in a simple way, the various steps in Expert-to-Expert Marketing. So I was rather pleased to come across this interview with Ruth Rowan of Dimension Data.
She makes a good point on how they position their expertise and align with the client. It fits very nicely with the 'Cross-Hairs' model below. Having read her post, I adapted it to her reference points.
In the diagram, Dimension Data is the tech firm; their client is the bank. Dimension Data have lots of different technology, and lots of different clients. But only in one area is their expertise relevant to the bank. If Dimension Data talk about areas of banking they do not know about, they will quickly be found out. Similarly, if they talk about other areas of technology, banking clients will find it irrelevant.
The universal challenge in high-end sales is to create clear messaging that "can address our ability to help solve those problems". The answer is, of course, to create super-relevant, timely content for the client.
If that is done, the vendor can be genuinely helpful to the client whilst demonstrating the knowledge of their Subject-Matter Experts and their company more broadly.
For more on how to do that, see this post on using a "virtuous circle" to engage the Subject-Matter Experts.
Ruth: From our perspective, it is vital to look at our technology value proposition alongside our industry value proposition. For example, when approaching clients in the financial service industry, our ability to talk about low latency trading is vital to emphasise because it is a key concern of the industry. It is important to know the needs of our target audience within an organisation and across sectors... We have to make sure that ... we have insight into the needs of clients and the problems that they are trying to solve. We need clear messaging that can address our ability to help solve those problems... along with having a clear picture of who needs to be targeted.