Most proactive new business efforts take place over the phone, which is at the heart of any outbound new business process. Most sales people know about the idea of identifying needs, but as Art Sobczak says in a recent edition of the “Telephone Selling Report“, that’s not enough.
Say you’re speaking with a marketer and you identify a need, and she confirms it – does that mean you’re on your way to landing a new client? No!
“Some needs are more urgent and important than others. Consequently, some needs get acted upon and others are placed on the back burner.”
Successful lead generation will come from determining the depth and weight of a need, through what are called “analysis questions”. By asking the right type of questions, the skillful new business exec will get the marketer to both articulate and prioritize their need(s).
Let’s explore a fictional conversation to see how analysis questions can be used to further define a need.
New business person (NB): Sue, you mentioned that you have a social media program. You said that some parts were good and some not so….
Marketer (M): Yes.
NB: Describe some of those not so good efforts.
M: Well, they didn’t meet expectations.
NB: Well, what was the impact of those programs on your customers?
M: Hmm…I haven’t thought about that, but it wasn’t always positive.
NB: (from another angle) What was the reaction from employees to those programs?
M: Well, some came off pretty badly.
NB: Badly? How so?
M: We’ve an employee-owned company and some employees feel we’ve been wasting money.
NB: What impact has that had on subsequent social media efforts?
M: Well, the budget was cut and we’re subject to greater scrutiny.
NB: Cut, by how much, say on a percentage basis?
M: About 20-25%.
NB: Have your marketing goals been lowered, too?
M: (Laughing) Not!
NB: How are you making up for the shortfall?
M: Well, we’re trying to spend our remaining dollars better, to try higher results. We’re had to hire some contractors that we didn’t have in the budget to make that happen.
NB: Any idea how much that’s cost?
M: Not at the moment, but I see your point. If I add the loss in budget to the extra expense we’ve been forced to incur just to try to catch up, plus the negative feeling among employees…it’s significant.
NB: So, having a really cost-effective social media program that drives much better results is important?
As you can see, analysis questions help you further explore a situation. You’ll reveal needs, and also their significance for the organization. And with them, the potential opportunity your ad agency can pursue.