After the educational roller coaster that was last week, I stepped into this week rested and eager to find out what this new week would entail. There was definitely a lot of reading of notes to be done over the weekend and I came into this week feeling like I had more knowledge under my belt to really put my consulting hat on. By no means did I feel like I was an expert, but we could say I was no longer a deer in (technology business consulting) tinted headlights!
I would say this week was the week I truly began to take ownership of aspects that were integral to IAC’s business. As I sent through requests for proposals for our website vendors and became the main point of contact outlining details such as the site map and the pieces that were integral to the site, I couldn’t help but think how versatile you must be to be an entrepreneur. Not only do you wear numerous hats in your day to day tasks, switching between thinking analytically to being more creative, you also always have to be conscious of your target audience when making business decisions and think about what will speak to them and how you can communicate how your services can help.
This skill was put to the test in arguably my most challenging aspect of the week, walking in your customer’s shoes is definitely a lot easier said than done! I had to complete our story board for our target audience and had to use my understanding of our services to create a value proposition. Now bear in mind my understanding of our services was increasing every day as IAC are constantly innovating and gaining new opportunities! I had to really put myself in each segments’ shoes and ask the ‘so what’ question. Yes, we provide this service but so what? Why should they care? It is relatively easy to communicate what you have learned of your company’s lines of delivery but asking yourself why your customer should care is a different matter entirely. I had to ask myself if I were them what would make me want to engage with IAC and potentially spend money on our services. Or what extra value can our partnership bring that they don’t have already or don’t already have access to? I really needed to dig deep here and know what makes us different. Just under two weeks in and I have already got my IAC hat firmly fitted!
I can now say I feel confident enough to stand in front of different kinds of customers and after listening to their story and their subsequent pinch points, really express why IAC can help them reach their goals more effectively. I think that is probably the biggest lesson I learnt this week. Yes, I have a greater understanding of how IAC’s services can help different groups of customers, but the key is to ensure we listen to their story first. This will ensure we are not just telling them the story we think they want to hear based off our own assumptions but we are really getting to the root of their challenges, going back to our value proposition and seeing how we can really help make their lives easier.
Who would have thought the key to selling was actually listening!