Do You Read Your Customers' Blogs?
If you are a service provider, you should.
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.