This episode of One Good Idea explores the value of being connected with your peers, especially the connections between members of the C suite to support growth.

You probably know that old adage, “Bird of a feather flock together.” Well, it’s true. That’s why peer groups are so successful.  People like to interact with people similar to them –and members of the C-Suite are no exception.

Tap the Power of Peer Engagement to Grow

You already know the power of peer connections.  Consider recommendations you follow. If you’re like most people you are more likely to implement the recommendations from people you trust. Studies show that 91% of buyers read reviews or ask their peers for recommendations before buying.

Checking reviews and references are often a key step in the customer buying journey. Which is why when we work with customers or talk with folks, we ask questions about who makes and participates in the buying decision.

And then we ask this question, who in your company typically engages with prospects?

And you know what we often hear is a mismatch between the person’s role in the company and the role of the potential customer.

We find this to be especially common when the person the company wants to connect with is in the C-Suite.  Someone in the C-Suite is going to be far more predisposed to talking to a peer. Yet typically messages and initial calls come out from Marketing or maybe a salesperson.

What can an organization change to improve the peer engagement and hopefully accelerate the conversation?

Peer Engagement Influencer Marketing Strategy

This question takes us to this episodes one good idea. Peer Engagement. Peer engagement entails matching people equal to in abilities, qualifications, experience. That is, the people inside your organization are peers to the people you want to do business with.  Peer engagement is a business and Marketing strategy and encompasses a myriad of tactics.

It’s a business strategy because for this idea to work, it needs to extend into everything the company does that touches the potential prospects.  And most often these touches or interactions are fall within the domain of Marketing.

We’ve used this idea to support strategies for several customers.  Let’s use one customer as an example to illustrate the concept.

In this instance, the Marketing team produced all the content assets – from blogs, to videos, to white papers, to emails, to LinkedIn articles, even LI invites, and so on. And for the most part, these assets carried a Marketing or Sales title or showcased a salesperson in the case of video.  Yet, the primary people the company wanted to reach were CEOs, COOs, CIOs, and other members of the C-Suite.

Once the customer agreed to the peer engagement approach, everything changed.  All content, all invites were authored by a corresponding member of the C-Suite inside the customer’s organization.  No more Sales or Marketing titles authoring the content. Marketing and Sales personnel might impact editing and formatting, ensure style guidelines were met, and so on.  Yes, this took more time; but it was far more effective.

Why? Because the intended recipient was interested in what a peer had to say. The author of the content carried weight.

As the customer saw the positive response, they extended the concept to virtual events, such as peer roundtables.  For example, a roundtable of CFOs from non-competing companies having a candid conversation with the CFO from the customer company on a relevant topic associated with the solution, such as “How to evaluate the total cost of ownership for XXX.” No slides, just a conversation among 8-10 peers.

This enables everyone to be engaged. And for virtual programs, the 3×3 view enabled everyone to see each other at the same time. When you’re visible you’re more likely to be participate and engage in the discussion.

Salespeople are great; Peers are better

Peer engagement is smart business and an excellent way to spur growth. Take a moment to review who you want to talk and engage with.  Are the people inside your organization reaching out to these people seen as their peers? Is the content perceived as written by a peer, someone they believe has or is walking in their shoes? Who from your team is connected on LinkedIn with these people? Salespeople are great, peers are better!

And that this episode’s One Good Idea. You can find more smart business tips on the VisionEdge Marketing website.  And of course, we’re ready to offer up one Good Idea just for you.

Please like our video, if you found it helpful. And please subscribe to our channel so you’ll be notified of more smart business tips that we’ll share in the future.

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