Archive for December, 2009

The results of a recent survey of CIOs reveals some things that vendors probably won’t like but need to face.  The fact is that unsolicited sales inquiries annoy the hell out of I.T. buyers more than ever today.  It’s bad enough that cold calls are intrusive by nature and that spam clogs their inbox.

But the problem goes deeper.  It’s the lack of preparation and research that galls them the most.  But wait  minute.  Aren’t these same CIOs who bemoan the fact that telemarketers don’t do their homework the same ones who refuse to offer pertinent information to begin with?  Well, yes they are.  Which leads to an interesting quandary.  In an ailing economy, with buyers having no budget to make purchases and sellers more aggressive and desperate than ever, what’s the answer?  Maybe it lies in a whole new way of thinking about the buyer-seller relationship.  Which is what we did when we wrote the book on B2B marketing in the digital culture.

But this isn’t about our book or our theories.  It’s about the practicality of how to make sales transactions more valuable for buyer and seller alike.  If the problem is that vendors forget what it’s like to be a buyer, and buyers refuse to understand the reality of selling, perhaps it’s time for a disinterested third party to intervene as a honest broker.   That third party would operate on behalf of the buyer as an unpaid agent who takes the calls and the email and reports back to the buyer.

From here it becomes an iterative process.  The basic value proposition of the seller is documented and the buyer decides if futher information is desirable.  Then the vendor is given the option of subscribing to the interpretive services of the third-party which is supplying the platform by which the seller can represent himself.  The buyer can appraise the sellers offerings more conveniently an thoughfully while the seller knows that his value proposition will be given a fair hearing.  A more valuable transaction is enabled.  Anyway, it beats the hell out of making or taking cold calls.

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