Can You Find the Bestseller Effect?

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

Can You Find the Bestseller Effect?

In the world of telecom - T1's, broadband, WAN - we know who the buyer is and why he is buying - or we assume it based on experience. (Maybe we should stop assuming WHY they buy?) But in the world of IT that encompasses mobile apps, devices, cloud services and more, it is so much who the buyer is but why are they buying. Not why you are selling or what benefit your service provides, but why are THEY buying?

Many conversations I have with clients center around who to target. For Hosted PBX sales, the company that is distributed with virtual, remote or mobile workers is a prime candidate. A single site, ten person office with flip phones is not. But Quota and Sales.

Seth Godin wrote, "You might not get the customers you deserve, but you will probably end up with the customers you attract."

The way we sell, message, prospect and negotiate determines largely who our customers will be. And we will get more like them. There will be an outlier or two, but most of your customers will be attracted by the way you sell, prospect, message and negotiate.

With all the consolidation going on lately in cloud services, sales are not coming fast enough and there are too many players in the market. Way too many players. This makes it difficult to reach critical mass.

Your product is similar to a book. You want to write a bestseller. However there isn't a formula for a bestseller. The Bestseller Effect happens when your core group of customers buy your book, read it, like it, talk about. Then the second market picks up on that and buys it too. (Kind of like the Crossing the Chasm). Early adopters then mainstream.

Some of the delay to mainstream is the product. It is complicated, not an easy replacement, takes education and understanding - and largely wasn't designed for the mainstream. Cheap dial-tone replacement was designed for mainstream. Enterprise level software for the average user - too complicated. Too much change. So we dumb it down. Water it down. Lower the price. In hopes of mass appeal. In trying to fit the round peg into the square hole.

"Which means that if you try to reach people who aren't shopping for what you sell, who don't think about what you sell, who aren't even in the store for what you sell, you've got a tough road ahead." - Seth Godin

Look at advertising for cellular. The Top 4 Cellcos talk about just 3 things: the network availability, price or the phone. AT&T had a huge lead due to its exclusive deal for the iPhone. Then when all carriers have the iPhone, it becomes a whore's market for number 6. Think about that.

In auto insurance, everyone is the cheapest. How is that possible? Only Farmer's talks about what it will be like to be a customer; that insurance companies have a bunch of Gotchas - something the public already resonates with.

This industry spends a lot of time talking about value - inside not outside. If one service provider spent as much time on messaging and targeting as it does on patching the softswitch, that SP could become the market leader.

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