Spend Time with Mobilizers to Develop Business

Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon and Nicholas Toman have analyzed over 700 unique business-to-business purchases and identified seven distinct customer profiles:

  1. Go-Getters. Motivated by organizational improvement and constantly looking for good ideas, Go-Getters champion action around great insights wherever they find them.
  1. Teachers. Passionate about sharing insights, Teachers are sought out by their colleagues for their input. They are especially good at persuading others to take a particular course of action.
  1. Skeptics. Wary of large, complicated projects, Skeptics push back on almost everything. Even when championing a new idea, they counsel careful, measured implementation. 
  1. Guides. Willing to share the organization’s latest gossip, Guides furnish information that is typically unavailable to outsiders.
  1. Friends. Just as the name suggests, Friends are readily accessible and will happily help [lawyers] network with other stakeholders in the organization.
  1. Climbers. Focused primarily on personal gain, Climbers back projects that will raise their own profiles, and they expect to be rewarded when those projects succeed.
  1. Blockers. Perhaps better described as “anti-stakeholders,” Blockers are strongly oriented towards the status quo. They have little interest in speaking with outside vendors.

Adamson, Dixon and Toman refer to the first three profiles as “Mobilizers” and the next three as “Talkers.”

They postulate that high-performance sales success comes from convincing Mobilizers.

Recently, a partner I am coaching said, “I cannot understand why I have not received an assignment from [target]. I have met with them five times, and they are always informative and supportive.” I thought he must be visiting only with Talkers. I confirmed that and suggested he ask some Mobilizers to join his next foray with the target. It worked. He convinced the Mobilizers he had something to offer and now has a new client.

We all know to stay away from Blockers, but I think we would do our law firms great service by encouraging our lawyers to spend less time with Talkers and more time around Mobilizers.

Think about these categories as you interact with various customer or prospect stakeholders. We all have elements of many of these profiles, but see if you can find the Mobilizers in an organization you are wooing.

It is easier to talk to Talkers. Lawyers like to talk, and they often choose the easiest business development path.

Help them learn that to build business we need to solve problems for, and sell our value proposition to, Mobilizers.

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