MacGyver Doesn’t Work Here

If you are like me, you spent some of your youth watching MacGyver week after week as he saved the world from terrorists, despots, mercenaries, and guys with mullets by using a simple collection of toothpaste, duct tape, paper clips, Swiss Army Knife, and a can of spray cheese.

Each week he solved the problem D’jour by blasting his way out of a wooden crate or evil lair and making his way to safety with a token hottie in tow. It all seemed so easy to the teenage mind and gave me an overly simplistic view of problem solving sometimes. Grab some stuff you have laying around and blast your way out!

That works great if you are imprisoned in some banana republic that is housed on the back lot at ABC, but in the business world it comes up a little short. If you are trying to get prospects to the table and part with their cash, it is going to take more than some “content” that you bodged together the day before the meeting with stuff that had been sitting around for a year or so, or that was not specifically addressing the problem that you are trying to solve.

The sales process is really about creating product alignment with the prospect around a solution.  If your solution depends on a tube of Crest, some copper wire, and a really sweet car battery that is in the corner you are in trouble.

You need to have anticipated what the prospect is going to need long before a face to face meeting and have gained their interest with a piece of content that shows them that you are able to address their problem. That piece of content could come in the form of an Executive White Paper and an accompanying blog. With this 1-2 punch you have gained their initial recognition of your solution.

The next step is to begin showing the prospect that your solution is capable of and has solved problems similar to theirs at other company’s; that content comes in the form of a case study or two. The case study focuses your solution on their problem and points out the benefits of doing so, while also differentiating your solution from the myriad of others out there in the market.

he case study (ies) should be authoritative, well written, objective, informed, and not written by you or your staff. After all you are paid to drink your corporate Kool-aid and everyone out there knows that. Your case studies should be written by someone who is an independent 3rd party that is well recognized in the industry….like DCIG.

We are very “plugged” into the market and have a better broad view of the storage world than most on your staff do.The reason being is that your folks are only thinking of one thing, your product, and because of that paradigm they are not looking at the entire market in its totality and lose the context of the marketplace.

The next step in the sales process is not to make dynamite out of laundry soap, golf balls, an old T-shirt, in a coffee can MacGyver, it is to move the prospect along to a deeper understanding of the solution and provide them a white paper that fully encapsulates the tremendous detail behind your solution and answers questions from folks on the prospects team that are not at sales presentations, are on the evaluation team, or because they eat sales people and that might really dampen the relationship early in the process.

The white paper is more detailed, focused, and is designed to be the last piece of content that you deliver before your sales teams begins asking for the sale and working on pricing. Your white paper again needs to be written by a 3rd party like DCIG. We say this because we have written hundreds of them and have the process down pat. Your team should not write them because we have seen in the past that the amount of discord that this process takes internally is profound.

Indeed we have had to referee discussions with folks on the approach taken on our white papers as they fight back and forth, you can only imagine what a completely internal interdepartmental approach would look like.

Next, light the fuse….er wait no that’s not it…Oh yeah, next your team closes deals after creating that customer alignment with your solution, negotiates price, makes everyone is happy and you work towards a kickoff meeting. You will have accomplished this by having had a content plan that is designed as a program, well laid out, orchestrated, ready to deploy before going in to the first meeting.

MacGyver always seemed to make it out alive with that hottie in tow, but here is the reality about business. You may not always come out smelling like a rose, you may get thrown out in the first wave of vendor thinning and my not even get invited to the first sit down sales meeting.

Why? Your content stunk or was so obviously crude in its approach that the toothpaste bomb would have been more impressive. Your success depends not just on having the best solution. It depends on having good sales people (that is another topic) AND it depends on having content that is meaningful and current.

DCIG sells programs that create content to solve problems just like that. We don’t sell toothpaste bombs or make hang gliders out of a blue tarp and PVC tubing so you can escape from the evil madman’s mountain hideout. We sell content that is informed and well respected, and would love to talk to you about how we can revamp your content to give you the appropriate tools to succeed. Give us a call and we would be happy to work with you.

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