The Pipeline Guest Post – Tony Zambito
When trigger events occur, they represent a unique moment in time for you and the buyer to establish a trusted relationship. This unique moment in time may be one that may never occur again. The question is: are you ready when this moment in time actually happens?
There is a high degree of importance in being ready for trigger events. These events, as articulated by Craig Elias and Tibor Shanto, not only offer sales opportunities but offer the opportunity to create buyer experiences that can result in long-term loyalty. Ultimately, while the end goal in responding to a trigger event is a sale, the ability to establish a long-term relationship will hinge largely on the experiences a buyer has during the response. There are several ways you can be ready to turn trigger events into buyer experiences that keep buyers calling you when trigger events occur:
How much do you really know about your potential buyer’s organization when a trigger event occurs? Buyers today have high expectations and one of those is the expectation that you are already grounded in knowing something about them. If they are on your target list, are you keeping up with alerts on the events that are occurring with this buyer’s organization? More importantly, are you aware of the events leading up to a trigger event? Demonstrating intelligence about their organization translates into exceptional buyer experiences. Why? Because trigger events are fraught with emotions and one thing a buyer is seeking is confidence that the situation is going to end in a resolution. Knowledge breeds confidence.
How well do you know your buyer persona? A buyer persona is an archetypal representation of your buyers that is derived from qualitative research. Buyer personas are a means for encapsulating a deep understanding of buyer goals that directly influence purchase decisions. As a sale executive, have you supported your teams with a fundamental understanding of who your buyers are and what goals drive their responses and decisions? The ability to address buyer goals responsively during a trigger event is paramount to the buyer having an exceptional buyer experience.
There is a good bet that a buyer and his team may be facing a trigger event situation for the first time or it has been a good length of time since a previous event had occurred. Sharing knowledge and providing a learning opportunity for buyers gets you a seat at the table of trusted advisors. How prepared are you to share how similar customers have resolved similar situations? What type of content and documents do you have prepared to share that are specific to trigger events? A trigger event is time to go “off messaging” and to demonstrate your role as a trusted advisor with substance. Enable an exceptional buyer experience by providing your buyers with learning opportunities that they will want to share with their peers.
In most circumstances, a buyer is the focal point that represents various stakeholder groups within an organization. You can be sure that the buyer has these groups on his or her mind during a trigger event. How much are they on your mind? All eyes are on the buyer by these various stakeholder groups during a trigger event. And all eyes are on you as well. They are looking for a solution to what may be a very challenging situation or perhaps are in crisis mode. Are you prepared to address how your role and your solution address various stakeholder groups? Are you gaining access to such groups to understanding the impact of the trigger event in their area? Understanding and addressing stakeholder concerns provides opportunities for exceptional buyer experiences to be shared enterprise-wide.
To succeed with trigger events requires a high degree of readiness. It is the degree of readiness that plays a pivotal role in turning trigger events into exceptional buyer experiences. As mentioned at the start of this article, trigger events represents a unique moment in time that perhaps may never occur again. You may have only one opportunity to demonstrate your ability to be seen as a trusted advisor and to provide an exceptional buyer experience. Are you ready?
About Tony Zambito
Tony Zambito is Founder and Principal of Goal Centric, a buyer strategy consulting firm. Goal Centric is also the originator of the buyer persona methodology. Tony is launching BUYEROLOGY™ as a new means of understanding buyer behavior. Tony also served in the role of Vice President in Sales and Marketing capacities for TRW, Knight-Ridder, and Compaq (HP). He holds a B.S. in Business and an M.B.A. in Marketing Management. Read Tony’s blog Buyerology Now for insightful commentary on changing buyer behavior.