Monday, January 17, 2011

Timing is the Next BIG Small Business Trend

I have a knack for picking movies in a series that have some kind of common thread.  Now, I don't do this intentionally. It just happens.  In fact, I'm not even aware that I've done that until we watch the films, a pattern emerges that seems almost eerie.

Well, apparently, I do the same thing with books.  Over the last couple of months I've either picked up a book at a books store or received a review copy from a publisher and started reading -- only to find that they have a certain theme or lesson that I couldn't have designed better myself.

This month the theme looks to be "Timing."

Shift!: Harness The Trigger Events That Turn Prospects Into Customers. What if you could predict the exact moment when your customer would be most interested in buying your product or service and then you'd be there at the right place at the right time? Talk about using observation as an analytical tool.  Craig Elias decided to delve deeper into his successes and discovered a magical window of opportunity -- actually he calls it a "Window of Dissatisfaction" where his prospects were most open to change and listening to his offer.

Watch my interview with Craig Elias here and check out my expanded book review.

Selling to the C-Suite is a book I couldn't resist off the Amazon "You might like this" recommendations.  And I was right.  There is no shortage of sales books about how to sell to the CEO - but this particular one is based on in-depth-interviews with over 500 companies.  Not only that, but when you buy the book, you'll get tons of templates and tools that you can use in your preparation for the sales meeting with the CEO.

So, can you guess what the KEY learning was in THIS book?  TIMING, of course.  CEOs get involved early in the buying cycle -- while they are still thinking strategically about the problem.  The idea is for you (as the seller) to have done your homework on what issues your potential customers might be having and focus your selling on the problem they are trying to solve and not the solution that you offer (just yet).

I've already told you about The 24-Hour Customer. It's one of my favorite books for 2010 because of it's focus on time.  In my previous article, I gave you lots of examples from the book about how companies used time and time slicing to squeeze themselves into the ever smaller bits of time that customers have to allocate.

Have you noticed a "Timing" theme too?  In what ways has timing affected market research?
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