You are the delighted owner and inventor of an amazing new technology that will turn the market research industry around. Now all you have to do is simply show it to research buyers and reap the rewards. But with hundreds of new vendors popping up every year, it’s not that easy.
Here a few pieces of advice that might help.
- Your tool and your service is not new nor better. Every new vendor is positive that their tool is a brand new, amazing innovation that solves a problem no other vendor can. It’s not. There are at least five other technology companies out there doing pretty much the same thing albeit with a slightly different yet similarly hip name that verbifies some word. You just haven’t heard of each other yet. But some of your research buyers have. Along with many research suppliers who have been in the market research industry for ten or twenty years. They know better than you and whether they confess it, selling yourself as unique is not reality.
- You’re a research company. If you sell products and services that help researchers and marketers understand companies, consumers, customers, and markets, you’re not a technology company. You’re a market research company. That’s not an insult. That’s knowing what your business is and who your clients are. Saying you’re a technology company sure sounds cool though, doesn’t it.
- Speak the language. You are part of the market research industry. Be proud of that fact. Learn the language. Learn what box scores, test groups, control groups, confounds, sampling, targeting, order effects, experimenter effects, validity, reliability, and other basic research terms mean. These are your terms too. When you can use these words properly, you’ll be able to talk to your potential clients quickly and clearly. And get to the sales discussion more quickly.
- Complements over criticisms. One common technique for promoting a new tool is to outline the flaws of existing tools and show how using your tool instead eliminates those problems, thereby rendering the old and tired tools irrelevant. But chances are those old, traditional tools still exist because for decades they have served a genuine, much needed purpose that cannot be met by other tools. Including your tool. Focus on how your tool can complement existing tools rather than criticizing those tools. Collaboration, not cut-throat. Friends, not enemies. We’re still going to use those ‘out-dated’ tools so don’t make us feel stupid for doing so.
- Make it easy to switch. So if you’re no better and no different than a bunch of other vendors, why would anyone bother with your tool over anyone else’s? Because you’ve made it EASY to add it to their toolbox. You’ve incorporated language into the tool that makes sense to researchers – test and control, randomization, box scores. The tool creates familiar charts that mirror charts from other projects they’ve done – bar charts, line charts. It easily imports and exports into other tools they are already comfortable with – Excel, SPSS, PPT, R, SQL. You’ve prepared case studies and white papers showing reliability and validity by categories they understand – consumer packaged goods, finance, pharma, food, beverage. And best of all, when a client puts their traditional output next to your output, their CEO would be able to transition between the two reports with complete ease and comfort.
Ready to make a deal?