After a week on the road last week, this week turned out to a very interesting business week. It was interesting in that sense, as it helped me realize once more how important it is to have product champion(s) whenever you are looking to sell a product or service.
In this post I would like to go into further detail differentiating between the “general business angle” and “Sustainability / CSR angle”. The reason for this differentiation is simple: I sell an actual product with one business (PMM) and a consulting service (PB Consulting) with the other.
The general business angle
In my case am I trying to sell a specialty product that you need to see and use to fully understand. This week was an eye-opener for me as it showed me how much one person can influence the acceptance of your product with a large potential customer group. He turned into my product champion for this customer group and I will make sure I will provide him with all the support he needs from now on. These product champions are invaluable for every business as they are with more than gold in my view, in the short and long term. This is the classic example of a product champion in my view.
The Sustainability / CSR angle
A product champion, when taking the Sustainability / CSR angle, is quite different in many respects. Let me explain. The essence of the Sustainability / CSR consulting is that you provide someone or a business Sustainability / CSR specific advice. You as the expert provide advice based on your experience at previous jobs and assignments.
A product champion in this case then is someone that not only understands what you trying to say but (most importantly) someone that proactively challenges your point of view and experience. This might sound strange, but it in my view also makes a lot of sense when you look at what your ultimate goal: To change the way your client is doing business.
So have you tried to identify your Sustainability / CSR product champion already? He/she will be the key to growing your own consulting business in the short and long term. If you have not done this so far, why wait? Especially since your product champion might be the single most important person you need, to change the way they see their role in the business sector, how they conduct their business and what their next Sustainability / CSR actions will be.