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Building Trust Beyond the CMO: Find Your Internal Champion

Building Trust Beyond the CMO: Find Your Internal Champion

After you deliver an amazing product pitch to a person or group of people at a prospect company, what do you think those people typically do following that pitch?

Most likely, they’ll talk about it – they’ll tell others within their company about it.

They’ll talk about you, your product, and perhaps your pitch in general. They’ll put in a good word for you. They’ll vouch for you, intentionally or not.

That’s because great pitches and innovative products leave lasting impressions on business professionals. Great pitches build trust, and create belief inside those people – a belief in you and your product.

If that belief is not spurred within the right person, however, an agency pitch could be for naught.

 

 

Reaching the Right Person

When we say, “the right person,” we’re referring to the decision makers within a company.

For example, an agency growth team’s most highly desired contact will often be a prospect company’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

Unfortunately, CMO’s are very busy people. They’re constantly being pitched “amazing” and “innovative” solutions from a number of different agencies.

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That means two things…

First, they won’t often have ample time to sit and be patient with all of the information that you’re trying to deliver to them.

Secondly, the sheer volume of pitches they receive makes it harder for you to stick out amongst the crowd, and makes it harder for you to earn their trust.

So then, what would make you stick out? How do you earn their trust?

Well, a good word, or being vouched for.

This is where influencers come into play.

Influencers are the people that quite literally influence the decision makers of a company. They have the potential to sway decisions in one direction or another.

And since companies come in many forms, influencers do as well. An influencer can be anything from an assistant, to a director, to a coordinator, or anything in between.

Their job title is not so important. The importance lies in their relationship with the decision makers at the company.

That makes it extremely important for agencies to build rapport with those in the company that are not decision makers. The difference in winning business could be the quick word of an influencer.

 

Find Your Internal Champion

From an agency’s perspective, this kind of influencer is more specifically known as an internal champion.

An internal champion is someone within a prospect company that already believes in your offering, but doesn’t have decision making power. It’s someone that an agency can use to transport their word to a CMO.

While internal champions are not decision makers, they can be difference makers, and thus can be a powerful resource for any agency growth team.

Why are they so powerful? Let’s take a look at 3 reasons why:

 

1.  Attention earned

As we expressed earlier, CMO’s are very busy people. Unfortunately, with that, may come a short attention span.

While they may listen to your pitch, they may not always truly hear what you’re offering.

This is simple. If a CMO is extremely busy, they’ll probably be more willing to pay attention to one of their influencers, even if you and the influencer are technically making the same pitch.

Since they interact on a regular basis, your internal champion has earned the attention of your desired decision maker, and can more effectively shine a light on your offering.

 

2.  An internal understanding

Another advantage that comes with having an internal champion, is that they have an internal understanding of how your product will benefit them.

What does that mean?

Well, within office environments, people grow accustomed to one another. Companies have specific language that they use in talking about themselves and their own product. The people within the company have specific ways of interacting.

An internal champion gets the inside joke…

While your understanding of their company may be completely on point, perhaps there are a few small, yet specific ways that your internal champion can better express a message to the CMO. They understand the culture, and so they can naturalize your message.

 

3.  Established trust

One of the most difficult tasks for any agency team, is building trust with decision makers. Without extensive research, it can be hard to strike the right chord with the CMO of a prospect company, right off the bat.

Another benefit of having an internal champion, is that they have an established relationship, and therefore an established trust with the CMO.

An influencer can serve as a relationship placeholder for you and a decision maker. They’ve already spent the time building a relationship with them, so you can utilize that in passing your message along.

Building lasting business relationships is always based on trust. That trust, however, is not limited to decision makers.

Having internal champions within prospect companies is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door and start a business relationship.