Last week, Glenn gave a talk at the HG Capital Marketing Forum in London, UK. It was a really inspiring couple of days, during which he and Damien Posterino (Head of UK Consultancy at Reward Gateway) jotted lots of notes and ideas down –they’re determined to get around to implementing them before getting swept back into the daily grind!
The session was called “Scaling Imperfection,” and it was about our sales and marketing decisions at Reward Gateway. Basically, he’s been thinking about a lot lately about the way in which we buy things, and how it’s completely turned on its head in the last few years. We need to accept that the internet has changed how our clients buy – the power has shifted from the seller to the buyer. There’s so much information available online now that 50% of the buyer’s journey is complete before you ever speak to them. And let’s face it – there’s nothing more irritating than a sales call. No one likes being interrupted.
So with this in mind, here are Glenn’s tips:
Rarely hire anyone from your industry.
When Reward Gateway first started out, the intention was to disrupt the employee engagement market. They didn’t hire anyone with experience within the employee engagement industry, because we wanted to completely change how to do it. Even now, at RG, we have more people who have joined us from health and fitness and recruitment backgrounds than any other industry.
Listen to your clients–and sometimes even hire them!
Debra Corey (Group Reward Director at Reward Gateway) was a potential client when she worked as Group Reward Director for Gap. When Glenn hired her, she shared so many insider opinions on what it’s like to view our product from the outside – what worked, what didn’t work and what ultimately affected their decision not to go with us. In sales, it’s easy to forget that clients aren’t just people to market your product to – they can provide you with valuable feedback, too.
Something Glenn always says is: there really is no such thing as “business to business.” A business never really buys anything; you’re always dealing with a real, live human – and you’ve got to let them find you and choose to buy from you. At Reward Gateway, one of our values is “Be Human,” which reminds us of that. We make sure we hire great people to work in sales who don’t just follow the process, but who treat everyone with kindness and genuinely seek to help, not just to sell.
Try new things.
Glenn told the story about the first time he suggested the Engagement Excellence Awards, and how the CFO at the time nearly had a heart attack when he basically proposed spending loads of money (80% of the marketing budget) on a huge party. But it worked. Clients loved it, because it was different from anything they’d experienced before. It’s really helped us shine within the industry – clients love the fact that they have the chance to win an award, and the feeling of pride that comes with it.
Claim market leadership.
If you behave as the market leader, that’s how potential clients will see you. Simple as that.