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FLEXO Magazine : July 2013
If you are selling a car; you must convince the buyer the purchase has a minimal risk. Car manufacturers may do this with quality ratings, consumer testimonials, warranties, etc. We have to do this also, often using similar methods. We win the FMOT by convincing the buyer that we have a superior valued product or service, which can be purchased with minimal risk. REPEAT BUSINESS The SMOT is after we have ramped up our product with the customer and the customer is now in the process of repeat buying. The SMOT of truth is not in fact a “moment.” It is the continuing repeat experience the customer has with your company, every time contact is made, and every time the product is used. It is our collective organizational responsibil- ity to ensure our customers’ experience is positive. If we can make those experiences positive, we win the SMOT. By winning the SMOT, we minimize the opportunity of our competitors. By winning the SMOT, we ensure our customer has no reason to entertain competitive offerings. Or, when the inevitable RFP takes place, the customer does not see enough value, or a low enough level of risk in making a change to a competitive product. By winning the SMOT, we cultivate a business base we can grow upon; and eliminate the customer turnover, which is both expensive and energy intensive. In general, we recognize the importance of both the FMOT and the SMOT. We may not call them by these terms; but offering value to a customer, reducing the risk for change and delivering the promised value are well understood precepts for success in our business. In fact, it may be a key part of your company ’s overall “go-to-market” strategy. Everyone in your organization has responsibilities for the FMOT and SMOT. The sales and technical groups may lead the activities during the FMOT, but the entire organization is deeply involved with the SMOT. Every interaction is important. Every interaction is an opportunity to prove to the customer that he/she made the right decision during that critical FMOT. It is through the efforts of the entire organization that you win (or lose) the SMOT; and build that long term relationship which pays dividends year after year. What about the ZMOT? For CPCs, it is a bit easier to understand how they compete for the ZMOT. They develop brand awareness and equity, advertise, send out coupons, start a buzz on social media, and leverage positive experi- ences with their other products along with a number of other activities which pre-positions them positively in the mind of the consumer. So, when the consumer is in front of the shelf dur- ing the three to seven seconds of the FMOT, he/she already has some positive supporting evidence which allows him/her to make the buying decision; and the FMOT is won. It’s not as easy to see how this applies to the purchase of printing press consumables; but it is just as important for a B-to-B supplier, as it is for P&G. If you don’t win the ZMOT, you likely will not win the FMOT, where the business is awarded. The company that is successful in winning the supply contract likely had already won the ZMOT. Wining the ZMOT is easier if you are the incumbent supplier because you have the history and relationship to do so. To win the ZMOT as a non- supplier is very difficult and the reason non-suppliers are not more successful in gaining new business. Winning the ZMOT as a non-supplier is difficult, but not insurmountable. To be successful on the ZMOT as the non- supplier requires more planning and creativity. This activity is primarily the responsibility of both sales and marketing. Sales must tailor a long-term program of value building and relationship building at the account. Marketing must build the company brand, so that the potential client sees your company as a market leader and your technology as ca- pable of meeting the requirements. A key part of your growth strategy needs to be a multi-faceted approach to winning the ZMOT. Without winning the ZMOT, it will be difficult to improve your ability to close new accounts. ZMOT is all about reducing the perceived risk of doing business with your company. Making the correct purchasing decision is important to continuing business success for the purchasing company; and maybe even the personal success of the person(s) responsible for the decision. So, those involved with the decision have a personal and professional need to reduce any risk associated with the deci- sion. Choosing a new supplier without a track record certainly has inherent risks. Winning the ZMOT with a new customer reduces the risk, eliminating a giant hurdle in the buying process. You need a well thought-out, coordinated plan to win the ZMOT. The plan has to have two approaches, one which is sales driven. The sales portion of the plan is focused on build- ing those valued relationships and cultivating trust among the key decision makers at key accounts. The second portion of the plan is marketing driven. The marketing portion works at a higher level, developing visibility and trust in your com- pany ’s brand equity. Here are some marketing activities to be considered for inclusion into the ZMOT plan. • Build an email data base of targets so focused informa- tion can be directed • Develop a pipeline of valuable content that can be dis- seminated in alignment with the plan Market related updates Troubleshooting guides White papers on technical subjects Before the buyer will buy you must build trust. 22 FLEXO July 2013 www.flexography.org