Sales and marketing challengers are those who challenge common practices, thoughts and approaches. Rather than reacting to a buyer’s agenda, they take control of the sales conversation. Taking a challenger perspective to your audience helps them develop alternative views and new solutions to their problems.
Reasons NOT to challenge:
Being a contrarian: Challenging the norm can be very valuable, but it's not a full-time gig. Having your identity be “that person who disagrees with everyone” might earn an audience, but probably not the one you want. Pick your battles and don’t be the industry leading naysayer.
Clickbait: Providing your audience value is the core goal of all marketing, and you will not fall into their good graces by pulling them in with just a provocative headline. Be prepared to back up your position. Kristina Jaramillo of Marketing Insider Group explains how she got the best impact:
... by getting specific and pinpointing the specific faults in the thoughts, ideas and actions of experts that many are following, we got prospects to stop in their tracks.
Reasons TO challenge:
Showcase the value of your alternative: Following up your critique with an alternative angle is where you earn the real points. If your perspective is coming from a product organization, suggest another product (or a DIY means) that can substituted. Otherwise, use your fresh idea to elevate yourself as a thought leader on the subject.
Engage Influencers: Incorporating industry influencers into your conversations should be a recurring goal. Challenging your influencers is a great way to do this, and doesn’t necessarily mean calling someone out for being wrong. It might just be: “I’m not sure this is the best way.” Allow room for a candid, friendly dialogue.
The most common formats for people using this strategy are blogs, curated posts
, and via social media exchanges.
Learn more about why Jaramillo engages influencers in healthy debate via her original article below.