Navigating positive and timely Customer Impact
How and when we interact with our customers, and who we interact with, could make all the difference as to whether we successfully sell in a product or an idea. Many of us can probably recall a time when we have agreed with a customer a new listing or a activity in outlet, but yet it hasn’t come to fruition. Knowing who to speak to and when is critical to success, but how can we best understand and navigate this?
We shouldn’t solely rely on our main buying contacts to make things happen; organisations have many layers and personnel that are responsible for activation and delivery. Between a decision being agreed with a customer– they then need to go away and possibly attend forums for approval and subsequently need other individuals to do the necessary administration to make it happen. Therefore, widening our network within our customers’ organisation can only help. If we know key individuals we can influence them too, not just our core contact. Here at Pure Blue Ocean, we use our wiring tool to identify who key contacts are within our customers, and also identify what is their level of influence. Mapping out a network, really aids in understanding who we need to influence and for what.
We also recognise that the timing of when we influence, is a major factor. We call this the ‘Points of influence’. Any corporation has a process flow of decision making for review, sign off and activation. Such as budgeting, planning etc. There is a rhythm and a flow. The more we understand it the more likely we can influence the outcome.
Understanding the personality of the individuals within your points of influence, can also aid in positive decision making. There are some individuals who are critical influencers that can influence others. There are others who will make no impact at all. The Law of Diffusion of Innovations was explained by Everett M. Rogers and relates to the bell curve of product adoption. The curve outlines the percentage of the market who adopt your product, beginning with the Innovators (2.5%), followed by Early Adopters (13.5%), Early Majority (34%), Late Majority (34%) and Laggards (16%). The principle being if you get the right people on board, decisions, trends can accelerate much quicker. Whilst Innovators are only 2.5% of the population, if we onboard with these people, they can influence the others. A good example here is the new iPhone. The innovators are the ones that will queue for day outside the store to get the new phone. The laggards, are the ones possibly still with a Nokia on their belt! J Once the cool innovators have a new iPhone, the early adopters then follow and the early majority and so on and so forth. The laggards may take a while, but they might still wear it on their belt!
So be sure to consider the order in which you should influence, who you influence when, and who to leverage. We call this our impact roadmap. Identifying the key people that can aid in converting others to your idea is a powerful tool. The more we understand about the processes, decision flow and the key stakeholders within it, we are more likely to succeed.
If you would like to understand more about Customer Impact and some of the programmes we offer with this subject matter, then please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org