There are few industries in the world that aren’t being disrupted in some fashion. Existing competition doing new things, new entrants with different business models, shifting technologies, global competition, business and digital transformation, industry/market changes, and continually shifting customer needs all impact our customers and their abilities to grow and succeed.
Sometimes our customers recognize these–or even may be driving the change. They look at their businesses differently, they explore new opportunities and consider new strategies. As they examine what it takes to exploit these new opportunities and execute the new strategies, inevitably they are driving change initiatives in their organization, and possibly looking outside for solutions to help them implement the changes.
But what about the customers who aren’t looking at these changes? Smart people, smart organizations, for various reasons may be blind to these. Perhaps they are buried in the day to day minutiae of running their businesses, perhaps they are caught in a mentality of, “This is the way we’ve always done things,” or for any number of reasons are not responding to opportunities and threats to their business?
Their businesses are threatened–their future growth, even their overall viability may be threatened.
Whether our customers are small/medium businesses, divisions or business units of larger businesses, functional departments/organizations, they are pulled in conflicting directions. Keeping up with the day to day challenges of their business operations, identifying new opportunities, improving current operations.
As much as they want to keep up, they are over committed, overworked, and often overwhelmed. They need help.
One of the most valuable things sales professionals do is to educate our customers–not just in our solutions, but in the things that may be impacting their business, their function, their role in the business, or the ability to achieve their personal goals/dreams.
Helping our customers understand what’s happening in their worlds, things they must pay attention to, opportunities to improve, things that help them make sense of what may be going on, represent areas where we can create great value with our customers. Things they don’t have the time to do or take the time to do, but are important to their ability to grow, achieve and be successful.
Very often, much of the value we create with customers has little to do with our products/solutions, but how we help them cope and succeed in their jobs.
But too often, we don’t take the time to do this. We are so focused on our products and solutions, that we are blinded to the real issues our customers face. But until we help the customer with those, they won’t have the time or energy to focus on our solutions and how they may help them.
What our customers don’t know can certainly impact them. We create great value by helping our customers sort through everything that robs them of time, helping them become aware of what they should know. Only then, is it possible to engage them in how we might help them deal with these things that impact their growth and success.