Thursday, November 29, 2007
A different experience
One of the things that is readily observable when I'm on the road at trade shows is the built in defense that the attendees have for marketing claims for products and services, especially in the email filtering space.
Everyone unanimously agrees that you don't trust performance claims by the manufacturer. Period. So much so, that when I joke about it, everyone smiles and nods. Really, everyone does.
Gee, why is that? Perhaps for the previous 5 or 6 years anti-spam companies have been overstating claims of what they're product does? No? Could that be the case? (anyone catch my sarcasm here?) ;-)
I'm not a sales guy. Yeah yeah, I'm out selling, but I'm a technology guy who's being an evangelist about my product. My enthusiasm is genuine, I look people in the eye when I talk to them and I'm open and honest about the product and our competitors.
My goal every time I get the opportunity to talk to someone is to have a conversation about the product, not stand on my soap box and just talk. I want to engage them in a productive conversation and my goal isn't to get them to order a unit on the spot. My goal is that sometime during our conversation, I earn their trust. And in turn, trust MailFoundry to handle they're most sensitive and valuable communications asset, their email. If I don't earn they're trust, I don't believe that we've earned the opportunity to have them as a customer.
As the fall schedule comes to a close in the next two weeks, I'll be examining how effective our efforts were for building end customer product demand and how the shows themselves performed and what we'll do in 2008.
One thing is certain, the more I get out and engage people, and put a face on the name of the company, the more successful we are. Mind you - this isn't about me. Not at all. This is about a different experience with a manufacturer. They're real people. So are we. We let them interact with us as people, not a anonymous customers to a faceless corporation. The product we produce is not the only thing that's a different experience.
The company itself should be a different experience.
Is your company just like everyone else? How do your customers really see you? What are you doing to shape and influence their experience?