Interestingly, if you look at market research firms or conference organizers, they often look at the five or six biggest data center regions in the U.S. as:
Every once in a while, you will see them break away from these most popular data center locations. For instance, we have seen much more data center activity in the Pacific Northwest, Utah, and different Midwest areas lately.
However, no matter the region, you can bet that if it is profitable, you will have companies competing head-to-head with other local players that decide to pivot more aggressively into the data center space. To set an example, it could be regional players that before never overlapped with you but now are overlapping. It could also be national players that acquire you or merger and acquisition activity acquiring someone in your neighborhood who is now in your region.
Thus, it is important to think about things outside of:
- Your technical capabilities
- Your pricing
- Your cooling capabilities
- Your security tax incentives
All of these things are important, but they only become relevant towards the tail end of the sales process when we have gained trusted advisor status.
Avoid Mimicking Your Competition
Becoming a trusted advisor or subject matter expert requires you to stop copycatting your competitors—especially those competitors who do not know what they are doing.
So, how do you know if your competitors know what they are doing?
Learn more about best practices to find what works and what doesn’t.
By educating yourself, you can look a lot more analytically and perhaps a lot more cynically about what your competitors are doing. Y
ou will say, “Yeah, he is right! All they are talking about is themselves, is anyone actually going to click on, ‘Clap for us, we won an award’?”
- Maybe their employees will
- Maybe their investors will
- Some of their clients might care
However, that is not the majority of the people they are trying to attract, so be really careful about whom you are mimicking.
Do not focus solely on differentiating at the end of the sales cycle—the Decision Stage of the buyer's journey. Start differentiating early in the first 70%, including the Awareness and Consideration stages of the buyer's journey.
In the Awareness Stage, people are just starting to research broad-based problems. During the Consideration Stage of the buyer's journey, buyers are just starting to compare different available options/solutions and the pros and cons of each option/solution.
The first 70% of the decision-making process is where most people are in their buying journey, and many companies are completely dropping the ball with this. It is the biggest problem, but it is also the biggest opportunity.
Get Your Data Center Found Early
To get found early, you should use helpful, educational content and resources and your thought leadership to achieve that ultra-critical trusted advisor status. Get in there early to be:
- An educator
- A professor
- A teacher
Becoming an educator, professor, and teacher in your industry is the start to building trust amongst your prospects.
Once you understand the importance of being a trusted advisor, focus on two-to-four very specific buyer personas initially (so as not to get overloaded). For example, it is like a kid in a candy shop. You have 14 different segments you want to go after, which is awesome if that is your intermediary term plan. However, you are better off narrowing it down to a handful or slightly less than that.
Reaching your buyer personas is easier to accomplish with laser-targeted content rather than one-size-fits-all because there is intense competition for people’s attention. Think of all the multitasking that goes on between different devices, such as people’s
- Conversations at the office
Your content must grab them by their virtual shirt collar and say, “Dude, this is super relevant to you. I have exactly what you need and have studied dozens of people like you. I have a consensus of what is keeping you up at 2 o’clock in the morning. I understand your goals, plans, and challenges and I have great resources to help you.”
When a prospect lands on your website, you are looking for a two-pronged emotional reaction. The reaction will be something along the lines of:
- “Wow! I have been looking for something like this for days, weeks, months; I cannot believe I finally found it.
- “What else do these guys have to say?”
That is when they become receptive to noticing your premium content behind landing pages like eBooks, free reports, or white papers. This premium content will entice them to give their business card access to what is on the other side of the page.
Have you been successful with differentiating your data center? Let us know your comments below.