By: Kathleen Boyles, News Generation
What’s the biggest issue you face in growing clients and accounts? On November 28, PRSA-NCC hosted an event with keynote speaker Ian Altman to help us get to the bottom of this question, and how we can overcome it. Altman, a former technology and service business executive, works to inspire and educate audiences with a unique approach to sales and marketing. His approach focuses on growing clients and accounts through integrity and teaching professionals how customers make their decisions.
Often, PR firms are focused on selling something to their customers, but Ian’s approach focuses on how we as PR pros need to focus on solving a problem. Businesses have a bad habit of not to focusing on the problems they solve, but instead focusing on what they do or what services they offer. But Altman’s research determined three questions executives ask when making decisions: What problem does this solve and why do I need it? What is the likely result or outcome? And what are the alternatives?
Altman’s modern approach has four aspects: issue, impact, importance and results. The first step to grow your client base is focus on the issue your client or potential client is trying to address. The next step is the impact and importance of this issue. Asking, “What will occur if this issue remains unresolved and why is this issue important in the large picture?” After that, you and your clients need to discuss results. Focusing on results is crucial to Altman’s approach. Finally, asking your client about how others on their team might be impacted, and the best way to incorporate them into the process. It is important as the person doing the selling that you ask these questions of your potential new clients.
Altman’s approach to modernize the buyer-seller interaction is innovative, sincere and a more current way for sellers to engage potential new clients. His approach is refreshing and enjoyable, and he effectively kept the audience engaged with his own experiences and humor. Overall, this PRSA-NCC and IPRA event had great energy and was very successful.