Your geographic area no longer defines your economic sector. Thanks to technology, you can define where you exist by vertical market and offerings, not just by region. You can use email, social networks, your website and web search to create a flexible, resilient sub-sector of the mainstream economy focused around your company.
The Sector of Jim
Since it is now easier than ever to connect with like minded people, sales prospects and industry connections, wherever they are, economic sectors are no longer defined in traditional terms. Jim can create the sector of “Jim” and have that economic sector be all the people and things Jim and his company really care about and are interested in.
A New Approach
No longer are we just in the “Software Consulting” vertical market, we can be in the sub-vertical of “Jim” and through connecting with great people, tie our economic situation to that sector and outperform the industry or the entire economy. This is nothing new as most companies are defined by the relationships they have managed to make – their book of business.
What is new is that it is easier and quicker than ever before to create initial relationships and expand them. The tools exist for companies small and large, new and old, just like they exist for Jim. Jim can nurture his relationships, add new ones and grow them all into prospects, sales and partners through daily and weekly unobtrusive interaction and conversation.
In this environment, we have to assume that the more informed prospects and contacts are more understanding about what we do, the more likely they will choose our company as their partners for this particular service or solution. If the more educated a particular prospect becomes about what you offer, they might be less likely to choose your company. Otherwise, you are probably not the best solution for them and that will likely come to light at some point in the future of your relationship. When a prospect is not a good fit, let them go and remain honest about what you do and who you are. There are many fish in the sea. As I always say when a customer is not a great fit, “We weren’t meant to marry everyone.”
Jim and A New Direction
By building a positive sphere of influence around himself, his management team and his company, Jim can outperform GDP. By aligning himself with better companies, better buyers and relationship oriented people, Jim’s personal economy is defined in his terms.
This will be the direction of successful B2B marketing in the future – creating a sphere of influence and using it to bring your services and products to market and to influence research buyers. At the end of the day, your services and products have to be the best fit possible for your customers or that will taint the opinions of those in your sub-sector – the people who will help you connect with others. Be honest and try to be the best possible fit without fear of rejection.
This new direction of corporate transparency and honesty marketing will be hard for the traditionally minded marketers to accept because it forces them to discard some the their soon to be archaic notions about “value added messaging” and “delivering competitive advantage” – two things that are now in control of all your current and former customers.
For this reason, those of the traditional marketing mindset, we see their influence decline as their marketing efforts become less successful and buyers migrate towards more personally empowered channels.
Pond, What Pond?
Small Businesses used to have to choose to be the big fish in the small pond or be the small fish in a big pond. Forget the pond! Define your own body of water, what is looks like, who is in it and start splashing around. Expand your relationships beyond geographical constraints and build relationships based on business philosophy, ideas, services and products!