I’ve attended 3 procurement events in the last 3 weeks and all had one thing in common: small businesses vying for corporate buyer attention. In my observations, I divided the people who got and lost that attention from those who turned it into an actual appointment with the buyer. I call each category Dry Attention getting (ie. fun but forgotten and trashed shortly) vs. Deep Attention (what gets a meeting) respectively. Here they are:
Fancy Business Card, Gift or Leave Behind
Expensive metal cut out business cards, a shortbread cookie with marketing messaging, cute gifts for buyers–you name it, I’ve seen them all. And yes, they raise the eyebrows in the short term with buyers who are entertained. That’s what I call Dry Attention. Deep attention is being able to give them something of value that educates them or offers a solution to a problem they’re struggling with. For example, my virtual business card has links and downloads to videos and books I’ve written to help my target clients with their problems.
Elevator Pitches That Amuse or Entertain
Dry Attention happens when a vendor is pitching a buyer by telling a story or having a clever joke in his or her elevator pitch. This is great and always gets a chuckle. However, Deep Attention is the elevator pitch that not only says something different than everyone else doing the same thing in their industry but it actually is specifically pointed to an industry pain point. Over and over again, we’ve seen this kind of elevator pitch get appointments. Without the cute stories or sayings.
Flashy Glib Personality
Forceful, polished personalities who ooze charm certainly get the attention. But it’s Dry Attention. What keeps the attention and gets a meeting, is a concise, direct communicator who can talk with authority about the industry of the buyer and give examples of how they’ve helped similar buyers in the past.
Nice Guys/Gals Who Refuse to Pitch
A wonderful buyer I had lunch with this week told me the story of the nicest vendor she’d met. He told her right off that ‘he refused to pitch to her’. Years later, she hired him. Not because he was such a nice guy who refused to pitch. She actually remembered his NICHE!! So the Dry Attention getter, is the nice vendor who is trying to form a relationship first with the buyer. The Deep Attention getter is the well niched and clear messaged business owner who truly stands out and solves an expensive problem that the buyer is having.
The Follow Up Fiend
Dry Attention getting is following up aggressively with buyers and trying to get a meeting through staying in their face. Deep Attention getting is the irresistible vendor with the differentiated valuable offer who gets CHASED by the buyer (or at least gets a very easy appointment). Similar to what happened to me over the past month- as buyers of large companies reached out to me to talk about how we could collaborate. They wanted MY attention and I didn’t have to stalk them for an appointment.
The Clever Branding
Clever brand names and catchy taglines are great. They raise a smile and stay memorable to the buyer in the short term. But when budgets are rolled out and push comes to shove, if the brand isn’t aligned with the market differentiator and carved out into the buyer’s mind with respect to what specific problem they excel at, that vendor isn’t getting an appointment. He’s only getting Dry Attention. Deep Attention is making your brand memorable for being an expert in that buyer’s pain.
I hope the above catalogue of marketing and selling tactics will give you an idea of what you can toss and how you can evolve your strategy and messaging when getting that elusive buyer’s attention. Happy Selling!