Do You Read Your Customers’ Blogs?

If you are a service provider, you should.

Angie Robar of Extra Mile Marketing does and she comments as well.

A little background, first...

There's a mentality among Microsoft employees in the "field" (read: outside of Seattle) that the folks "in Redmond" are somewhat divorced from the reality of the customer and partner marketplace.

"Field" people also think that Redmond budgets are bloated and that there's little accountability for the monies spent. In addition, Field folks have a bias against the seemingly countless number of consultants that make their living selling services to "corporate" and then, when the rubber hits the road (namely the field) don't really deliver much value.

And now on with the story about Angie...

So, my new role, has me still "in the Field" but reporting back to a team in Redmond (well, Bellevue, but who cares? 🙂

And I've taken over a position where Angie and EMM have been working with my new team and I now control that budget.

Like any new team member, I need to prove my value to those around me, but a consultant (let's be honest here) has to prove her value to the new owner of the budget for her projects. That would be me 🙂

Here's what Angie knows:

she has to prove that she can add more value to my project than she costs

Here's what Angie doesn't know (until now):

I have a built-in bias (based on my field experience) against consultants hired in Redmond, primarily b/c I think it's more cost-effective to leverage MS resources to get the job done effectively.

So, what does she decide to do?

What's the lesson for you?

Well, she's not resting on her laurels and she is reading this blog. Which is smart. Very smart. Heck, it's borderline remarkable.

Like many business bloggers, I am telling EVERYONE what is important to me and how I am thinking about the challenges of my business. Angie has picked up on that and is using the blog to generate a value-added conversation with me.

Your clients and customers (at least who are bloggers) are sharing their priorities in an open and honest way. Why not read up on it and use that to your selling advantage?

Will Angie profit from this effort? Who knows?  [hey, got to keep her hungry, right?] But it's a smart move.

Comments (3)
  1. arobar says:

    First, not only do I read your blog, I enjoy it.  So, thanks for making my job easier:)

    Second, I welcome your skepticism – I believe we should all be critical of any vendor,or anyone we give money to – just as if it were coming out of our own pocket.  I’m aware that it can be challenging to measure ROI on services a consultant provides – but, it’s being done – my favorite projects are those set up to measure ROI from the start.  That’s why I think it’s so great you’re digging into the data (get some benchmarks in place).

    As for my services vs. MS resources- you’ll find in us a great partner to do what you need faster, without any red tape, and really well.  We’re smart (you agreed:), nimble, and flexible which allows us to take on things that are different and outside of the existing toolbox.  Our consultants have a personal connection to partners and have established relationships and conversations that have, over years, built trust and understanding.  

    Myself, I spent time on the field side at a technology company who was partner to a number of manufacturers and distributors.  I have real life experience trying to work with partner programs and rifle through offerings for what would actually help my business. My field experience also defined my sensible and practical approach to marketing.

    At the end of it all, two heads are always better than one. I can be an objective partner to collaborate with you as well as challenge you.  I’m really jazzed at what you bring to the group and look forward to continuing our conversation.

  2. Reading your customers’ blogs is a great way to keep your fingers on the pulse of their experiences.

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