When companies are faced with purchasing decisions around event technology and automation, it is never a simple yes or no. Many factors go into these decisions, from the pure functionality of the product to costs and security. We have all heard of the Challenger Sale, where understanding your customers’ needs is the crux of it all.
Without the understanding of their needs, how can you push them, teach them, challenge them to execute critical decisions for their success? Recognize when incorporating new technology, there isn’t just one person whose needs you must to understand. As an added challenge, including all stakeholders and their vastly different priorities and perspectives, also comes into play.
Directly, you have internal stakeholders within the company, like the event planning team who will care most about the day-to-day usability of the product. The chief financial officer who will be laser-focused on the costs and the potential savings over time. Don’t forget IT, who care about integrations, maintenance, and security. Indirectly, you have your external stakeholders: your clients, attendees and/or customers who are focused on experience.
Getting all these different stakeholders on board for new event technology may sound overwhelming, but it's an important and necessary process to understand and empathize with each of them. So how can you drive consensus amongst a group that has totally different needs they care about on a day to day basis? Focus on learning rather than assuming.
Think outside your personal needs and priorities
When we approach the market, how can we expect to move the needle when we face it selfishly? When working with customers and stakeholders, together trying to solve for a challenge, whatever it may be, if you only care about “what’s in it for me,” well, frankly, you’re toast. And when you are trying to get to these answers, it’s not enough to go through the motions to understand what their needs are. Your authentic self must be in it for them.
Ask the right questions
Discovering the various issues your stakeholders face goes beyond simply asking them that one question: "what are your issues/concerns with event technology?". It's important to think about the issue more critically in order to drill down to the core considerations. Some things to think about:
- What are their specific technology needs and priorities?
- What are our customers trying to solve for on daily basis? What keeps them awake at night?
- What do they think about when they have a minute of peace in the shower?
- How can I make things more efficient?
- How can I improve my experience?
- How can I see higher returns?
While there are probably 20,000 other questions to think about, these are always a good place to start!
Connect the dots
The key is not knowing what the needs of each stakeholder in one timeframe or instance. It's about taking that journey with the customer to understand their problems, and facing it together. Creating a connection between the stakeholders so we are not making decisions in a silo. This will lead to the best decisions for their company, which is what everyone wants.
With this authenticity and genuine interest in solving all stakeholder challenges, a collective approach emerges. Customers want to feel good about purchase decisions. Understanding how each stakeholder will measure the success of their technology decisions, will lend to a successful relationship and ultimately, making the right critical decision for their company.
To tie a bow around it: Listen and learn, do not assume. It is never about one person, identify all stakeholders and their measures of success. Be authentic and want to be a part of your customer’s growth.