Analysts who cover really popular topics can answer the same question over-and-over to the point where they go on auto-pilot. This means delivering basically the same information and advice regardless of the client’s situation. This is especially true for end-user or IT manager inquiries. Back when I was a Gartner VP & Research Fellow covering CRM, I once counted up 300 inquiries in a short time all asking me to compare and contrast the same three leading vendors. My eyes would glaze over as soon as the appointment reminder popped up for yet the next inquiry on the three amigos. So how do you ensure that the analyst is not on auto-pilot? Provide background on your situation and ask drill down questions.
It’s not that the analysts want to be a human playback device of a generic, standard response to your question, but it is human nature to fall into a rut. The easiest way to shake the analysts out of their rut is to truly engage them in conversation. Feel free to interrupt them – politely – in the middle of their spiel and ask drill down questions. Always bring the conversation back to “what are your other clients in my situation doing?” Frankly, analysts appreciate stimulating inquiries and really want to engage so they won’t be annoyed by your probing questions.
A great way to get the conversation heading in the right direction at the outset is to provide background on your company and situation. Then ask the analyst “Have you talked to other IT managers in my industry facing the same situation? How many? What were they asking you?” This will cause the analyst to pause and think about past inquiries, focusing them on your industry and situation.
Bottom Line: Take charge of inquiries to ensure you get real insights and valuable information. Don’t let analysts fall into auto-pilot mode.
Question: Have you ever suspected that the analyst was giving you a standard response and not tailoring it to your situation?
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