Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Change is Coming

Just a quick little update for those that follow this blog:

Effective January 10th, I'll no longer be in the technology industry. I have made the jump over the for non-profit space and will be heading up marketing at Cure International. That said, the focus of my blog remains the same and is exceedingly relevant to my day to day.

Check out for more information.

Drop us a quick prayer if you're feeling up to it!

- Matt

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Consistency & Individuality

From time to time, I fill in for our campus pastor on stage at the church. We have about 800 to 1000 people in attendance over the course of two services in a given weekend. On top of that, our church uses a campus model. That basically means that we have several campuses broadcasting the same message to about 10,000 people each week, so consistency in message is important.

Lots of organizations today have a similar issue. They have a large, diverse and disbursed base that they need to communicate a consistent message too. All things considered, that's pretty easy to do with the web these days.

The problem comes in with people. Sure, you can "enforce" every word that comes out of your peoples' mouths but it sounds that way. In sales, the individual style of the rep is often times the factor that wins the deal. Recently, when selecting some new technology to partner with, the style of the rep was what "broke the tie" between two very similar technology choices.

Back to my church for a second. While they place a high value on consistency in message, they place an equally high value on "sounding like yourself". When preparing remarks that I'll use on stage, I'm free to be myself within some guidelines. This makes the message delivery sounds more genuine, which leads people to listen and receive it more effectively. This, of course, leads to greater buy in and continued attendance.

The same principles apply to coaching your sales reps. Give them guidelines, but don't give them exactly what to say. Let your reps be themselves and do what they do best, deliver your message and build relationships with soon-to-be clients.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Early and Often

Anyone in the software space has heard the phrase "release early and often".

Many folks regard this as a high risk strategy. With complex systems, early releases can be regarded as careless and even dangerous, so most organizations tend to stay away from the idea.

On the flip side, I've yet to meet a client who didn't want an issue or enhancement addressed quickly. In fact, the happiest clients I have are the ones who believe their provider to be flexible and responsive. They seem to look past issues if they know the provider is ready to fix them quickly and efficiently when they come up.

As it happens, early and often doesn't only apply to software releases (or software in general). Think of early and often as a communication strategy.

Clients feel more engaged when you communicate with them frequently and on a personal level. No not an email that "feels" personal but on a real personal level. Pick up the phone or pen an email directly to a few clients now and again. Let them know what you're thinking, invite them to the table to discuss the future of your organization and do it often. Share your organization's thoughts with them even if they aren't completely polished, you'll be surprised how much you will learn and how little you really know about those you serve. Having conversations with your base doubtless will save you time and money (or read more properly money and money). By talking to them and presenting ideas and thoughts early, you can gauge the response and change course if necessary before wasting.... you guessed it time or money.

Doesn't sound like "traditional" marketing huh? I challenge its likely to be more effective. By communicating early and often you'll forge a sense of partnership while constantly reinforcing your brand's presence.

This strategy isn't meant to espouse carelessness or frivolity, but flexibility and relationship. Clients who feel like partners in your organization's journey are usually in it for the long haul... even if things don't always go according to plan.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Downgrading from perfection

In today's world what is valued more? How messaging is said or how authentic the message is?

I challenge that being perceived as authentic is more valuable than being polished.

Today, over anything else, customers value relationship. Maybe instead of spending time grooming our images attempting to come close to perfection, people (including customers who, by the way, are people too), would find it easier to relate to business & organizations who are a little less perfect..... just like people.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Comming Soon....


I have received comment that this blog is horribly out of date. Its pretty much undeniable.

I thought I'd give a brief explanation, I no longer work in the Learning industry.

Ok, so that's a poor excuse no to blog, so, in the next few weeks I'll be re-inventing my blog around my new roles in the world of marketing, sales and customer service!

Stay tuned and thanks!

- Matt

P.S A preview of my next blog: "Meet them where they are! Marketing & selling to a 21st century audience. "