The Austin chapter of TEXCHANGE hosted technology industry legend and author Geoffrey Moore at their June meeting earlier this week. Moore, who is best known for his best seller Crossing The Chasm, shared with the audience his views on "Provocation-Based Selling".
300 people filled the hall to hear the guru tell the audience that in a down market they need to be prepared to steal market share from the competition. When you are selling disruptive technologies there is no budget allocation for your new product. Prospective customers could love your technology, but when there is no money, then you have to help them create budget before you can sell them anything.
Fear or greed is what will motivate buyers. You need to show them the cost of doing nothing, as disruptive products compete with the status quo. This is no "Glengarry / Glen Ross", where you can sit around awaiting someone to give you the "good leads" from their drawer, but in provocation-based selling you must have to get teh meeting with an executive who did not expect to meet with you in the first place.
To get these meetings you need to rely on referrals. Look to connect the dots and find the people who can and will take your message straight to the top. This is what we talk about all the time on The Some Assembly Required Blog! It is having evangelists that will lead you to creating opportunities where none existed.
Once in the door, the reality is that you must know all you can up front about the customers situation. Doing due diligence is not and option, as the seller must be account specific in all they discuss, and be forthright in addressing all taboo subjects that others avoid.
I enjoyed Mr. Moore's presentation, but was disappointed when he abruptly cut the Q&A short. He only took three questions from the audience and then was gone. I know the TEXCHANGE crowd, and expect that those in the peanut gallery were full of desire to dig deeper into the wisdom of this guy. I imagine that there could have been much more lively discussion about his theories and we would have welcomed his continuation of the presentation for a few moments longer. Oh well.
Have A Great Day.