In our first blog we explained what clients expect from their PR consultants, the second step to becoming a brilliant consultant is all around understanding your client’s business.
This includes your client’s operational set up, its customers, the way it communicates and your role, in particular where PR can aid the sales process.
So what do you need to know about your client?
You should know almost everything about your client, starting with its uniqueness. What makes successful businesses thrive is the added value they deliver to their customers. So find out what is different about your client, what does it deliver that no other organisation offers?
From its objectives and goals, to its products and/or services, to its finances, the more information you can gather on your client, the better equipped you will be to communicate strong messages to the media. The key points you need to keep in mind in order to tell your client’s story include:
- Growth and revenues
- Routes to market
So now you know your client, let’s analyse the market? First of all, watch your clients’ competitors: who does what and who does it well? Being aware of the competition helps you to know what your client’s position is in the market and how it compares. The historical context, as well as current day and future trends. All of these aspects are critical in order to assess the potential threats and opportunities.
So what do you need to know about your client’s customers?
It is essential for you to know if your client sells directly or via the channel and to which vertical markets. Who are you client’s individual buyers and what are their likely pains or desires? Defining if your client’s products or services represent a pain purchase or an opportunity purchase will help you to understand the buying process and what really matters.
And finally – how does your client communicate?
As previously mentioned, you need to know everything about your client, and this includes the way your client communicates. How does it sell? To find out, ask your client about the sales process from first point of contact to sale and after sale support. This will help you to understand how it markets and differentiates itself.
PR plays an essential role in the sales cycle: it generates brand awareness and builds reputation by sharing knowledge and understanding of the product or services being promoted. Generating good media coverage can influence purchases and impact the sales process, this is why targeting the right audience and adapting your client’s messaging to different vertical markets is vital.
So my advice is gain strong knowledge of your client, its business and market, how it sells, its USPs so you have all the tools you need to promote the business and manage its reputation.