I keep being told ‘you are everywhere’ and there’s a good reason for that… it’s because I love what I do, and I truly value the relationships I have built with our team, partners, and customers. These relationships over the years have cultivated into personal friendships and a network of people I truly respect, value and enjoy being with. One of the hats I wear, outside of making the office coffee :), is to help my sales team with customer acquisition and retention and in this process, I have learned a few criteria that I believe are vital to success. The things that will make a difference:
Know your customer
- What vertical do your customers reside in and what are the disruptors in their industry?
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes
- How long has the CEO and upper management been there? What commitments have they made to drive a transformation to their business?
- Is there empowerment and budgets to drive their strategy? If so, who is leading that charge? How is this empowerment distributed across the globe?
Get through the right doors to build the right network
- Do those that are empowered know your company and do you have the relationships to get in front of them?
- If the relationships exist, great. If they don’t, do you have the network to build those relationships or can you get friendly intros to the right people?
Align your solution with your customer’s goals
- Research and understand the end goal. How does the end goal align with their strategy and what business value and the outcome can you drive that differentiates you from the competition?
When doing business, expect to run a marathon and not a sprint
- Engage, as frequently and as wide as feasible within the organization. Driving any change is a marathon and not a sprint. There needs to be a strategic approach to the entire journey but then a sub-strategy is required for each mile. Agree to a win criteria and clearly define what both sides achieve if accomplished. Ask for the business as they won’t give it unless you ask! And ask BIG!
Be nice. Build friendships!
- Business relationships are as much about trust as anything else. If they trust you and like you, they will do business with you. If you are artificial and just there for the order, then it will be short-lived. Can you call or text those empowered within your customers on their cell phones? Do you know their family or what’s going on in their personal lives? Were you there when they needed a friendly ear and it had nothing to do with a deal?