Today, I was invited to a cool event hosted by Tricension, an IT solutions provider based in Kansas City. Special thanks to Tricension VP, Bret Rhodus, for including me. The luncheon was titled “Marketing Automation Executive Roundtable” and turned out to be an educational seminar – part information sharing, part sales pitch, part networking event.
One presentation in particular from Michael Ward, CEO of a marketing automation system provider, Net-Results, really caught my attention. In the context of being customer-focused, he suggested to each of us that we “be the source.” The idea is that if you know that your customers (or prospects or networking contacts) seek information, you should be the one to provide it. By providing something of great value and benefit to your customers, they will develop a sense of appreciation and loyalty for you, your company and your brand. Brilliant concept.
Michael went on to say that one should nurture his/her customers throughout their lifecycle by continuing to feed them valuable, relevant, timely, useful information. The message here is that information sharing is not a one-time gig. You must continue to stay top of mind with your customers by giving them the data and information that they crave throughout your relationship with them. By doing so, they will develop a habit of relying on you for valuable information and for thinking of you first when it comes to requisitioning the products and services that you have to offer.
So, to quote Michael, “share everything you can, everywhere you can.” He says to saturate the market with information that only you can share.
Oh, and no need to give it all away without asking for a favor in return. In exchange for your customer giving you a little bit of data (e.g. filling out a form with their contact details, or explaining what problem they are trying to solve, or sharing a referral, or whatever), you will give them a lot of useful, beneficial information that they may or may not be able to easily get elsewhere.
Go on… Be the Source. Your contacts will come to think of you as their go-to person and help you to build your business and your reputation through their advocacy and support.