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Making Friends, with Benefits

It really isn’t rocket science to say that the most beneficial business relationships are the ones that are mutually beneficial to the buyer, seller and any third parties that are involved in the process – in other words, they work for everyone.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

And yet, “the tried and trusted” approach to starting a new business dialogue – i.e. bashing the phones, blasting out emails, going for a beer at trade shows still has yet to be fully consigned to the 90’s. 

This isn’t to say they don’t still have a place at some point, but that there’s more efficient and effective ways to delight and engage potential customers. In this blog we look at how buyers interact with the seller in the modern era and suggest some food for thought on how this can be used to develop a mutually beneficial relationship.

Mutual benefits

In the digital era, there is a demonstrable shift towards people sharing their positive (and negative) experiences online, as well as the unsurprising increases in importance for social media, video and websites when building and reinforcing your brand.

Most tellingly of all from the research we did for this blog, it seems that people have some reluctance in believing companies who wax lyrical on they “solve customers’ problems” and look for more tangible reference points. Somewhat unsurprisingly, friends and peers are the primary source of validation that people cited as influencing their buying decisions.

Hey IT Buyer,  we can take all your pain away!

Many sellers of IT & Security products and services are keen to point out how they solve customers’ problems for them and attempt to “get into the shoes of the buyer” by penning empathetic marketing material. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with this approach, impatience kicks in and the poor IT&S Professional then gets a barrage of phone calls and LinkedIn connection requests which just add to the pain in their day. 

So while you sellers are wondering why your approaches aren’t converting into sales-ready leads, ask yourself the question whether or not you personally believe a website or advert, cold email, or sales call that claims to solve all your problems for you. Would you buy such a miracle item after seeing one piece of marketing material and then getting a phone call? Probably not.

But more and more, IT&S Professionals are being told that all their problems can be a thing of the past by using Acme IT Services, the one-stop IT solution provider. Now whether that statement is in fact correct or not, there are least three problems that we see with it.  Firstly the claim is unlikely and the merest sniff in the direction of a click on a download/link will unleash a barrage of calls. Secondly, said IT&S Professional will most likely be thinking that if the claim is indeed true, what could this mean for his own future? Thirdly, everyone is saying the same, what is your point of difference?

You are more likely to irritate rather than engage this time poor, information hungry IT&S Professional.

Build trust

Effective modern marketing relies on nurturing communities of people with a common interest and who choose to regularly engage, providing the right content in the right place at the right time that fuels the quest for knowledge and information. “Conversational marketing” has become the buzzword, but in reality it’s a trust takes time to build, and this cannot be achieved through “one-and-done” sales and marketing tactics. 

If what you’re saying as real meaning, put yourself in places the IT&S buyer can find you, use tools that allow him to decide when and how you should engage with him (it’s polite) then say it often enough in ways he can make a judgement.  And then they will come.

What’s the solution Amigos?

By now you’re either truly enlightened or wondering why we’re trying to teach you to suck eggs.  You have a whole sales and marketing team doing this for you, right?  Then why do we hear over and over again that businesses aren’t getting enough return on their investment in sales and marketing, and IT teams are resorting to dummy email accounts and voicemail to avoid intrusive approaches from over zealous sales teams.

Could it be you’re doing all the right things, but in the wrong order?

See it in action

The Amigos Network offers IT managers an engaging, modern and user-defined means of interacting with peers and solution providers to help him grow his professional skills and find solutions to IT problems without having to rely on companies’ own statements proclaiming their credentials; at the same time it offers IT vendors, resellers and distributors the opportunity to link all sales and marketing disciplines and systems providing actionable customer intelligence in real time, coupled with a team of people that take ownership and offer SLA’s.


Get in touch

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