Customers and Prospects Help Us Understand Our “Why”
ReadyTalk’s Marketing team recently initiated a project to refine our branding and messaging targeted at our two primary use cases: webinars and collaboration. The initiation of this project, which has my complete support, was influenced by some candid feedback by a marketing friend who spent some time looking over our website and suggesting that our messaging should be clearer. It was also influenced by my recent read of Simon Sinek’s bestselling book Start With Why.
In both his book and Ted Talk, Sinek makes a great case for one very fundamental idea: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.” Yet most companies direct the majority of their marketing efforts toward messaging around the ‘whats’ (e.g, features and benefits) of their products and services. Sinek’s book heightened the importance of understanding our company’s ‘why’ and building our messaging and collateral in a way that authentically expresses our sense of purpose.
The stark reality is that no company can effectively sell to everyone, particularly not a bootstrapped startup fourteen years into the making like ReadyTalk. So, the value of identifying those customers who believe what we believe is the basis for our building enduring relationships that will pave the way for mutual and sustainable success.
In addition to our own people, prospects and customers can both provide us with great insights as to our ‘why.’ The following RFI form was recently submitted to our inside sales team. Below are some of the specific requirements from the head of IT for this mid-sized technology company. Some specific feature needs have been omitted and the company name is an alias (yes, I watched a lot of Road Runner and Bugs Bunny cartoons as a kid), otherwise the email is verbatim:
The ACME Corporation is looking to urgently transition our web and audio conferencing traffic to a new provider. We have had several awful experiences that wasted our customers’ time and infuriated our team. We are making an immediate change to ensure this never happens again.
Here are our requirements:
- Moderator-attended meetings
For critical meetings, we want the option of a professional, technical, and dedicated moderator. We would expect this person to help prepare for the meeting, test the meeting in advance, monitor the quality of the meeting, and respond aggressively to resolve any issues.
We need training for our key employees who organize and conduct presentations. This training would be end to end: from administering the service to conducting the meetings.
- High-touch support
We want to work with people, not a bureaucracy. Ideally, we will have a single point of contact that is interested and engaged in our projects. We do not want to go through a nameless helpdesk robot that has no empathy for our organization.
We want this experience to be elegant and simple for customers. It should prove that we are a professional, experienced organization.
Please provide a detailed response to these requirements at your earliest opportunity. In addition, please include specifics about pricing and delivery time. We have a critical meeting in May that we need to be perfect; we are anxious to work with a vendor that can respond expertly and fast.
Using the “people don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it” lens, it would be hard to find a better suited prospect for ReadyTalk, particularly for the webinar use case. We’ve built our business around a purpose to help people be productive, both within and outside our company. And, we operate with the motto ‘Create Wow through Service and Technology,” which captures our desire to create emotionally satisfied customers through our product and services.
When, as with ReadyTalk, a team bootstraps a company from a starting point of no revenue, no customers, and no institutional financial backers, it’s hard to have any other model – any customer loss feels like it could be the beginning of the end. So creating a satisfied customer by helping people be productive and feeling like they have a true business partner is at the heart of our business model and core to our ‘why.’ My absolute favorite point among the requirements is # 9 and the prospect’s desire to identify a company with real people that are committed to the customers’ success. In fact, there is no other quality that allows ReadyTalk to shine in a crowded market quite like this one. And while it’s hard to market and message differentiation around service, ReadyTalk’s customers know it when they experience it.
This prospect did sign up with ReadyTalk this past week, and we expect our companies to mutually benefit from the relationship. And maybe the answers to our branding and positioning project are already being effectively expressed by the customers that find us.