Reading up on different techniques and advice on how best to work in an ever-changing marketing landscape is a habit I am trying to form. Knowledge is power and all that. I have been driven down a very interesting route of late that leans heavily towards customer-centricity, the idea that everything a company does should be for and about the customer. This makes a lot of sense.
If you don’t serve the needs of your customer, existing or potential, who pays the bills? If you decide to deliver something your customer doesn’t want because your work colleague thought they should try and sell a special premium service that serves no purpose then it can only serve the company interests and will quite possibly turn the customer off from taking your advice in the future as you will only “recommend” services that add to your bottom line. The relationship can easily deteriorate from this point and take a very long time to rebuild.
Two books have proved very interesting to date for me, and maybe for you too. Customer Centric Selling by Michael T Bosworth and chums, then a quick two-day (if you are a slow reader like myself) practical tip session from Jeffrey J Fox. Both put the customer at the heart of sales and marketing activity to highly beneficial outcomes. The basic premise being to know your customer needs and objectives inside out by asking the right questions in the first instance. One of my favourite sections from Bosworth covers the bidding process – essentially if you don’t approach the customer in the first instance the chances are low you will win the contract as you are making up numbers so they can fairly award to a company they already have in mind. Painful truth.
Let me know your thoughts on customer centricity and if you have read these books already. I can see it now, the beginnings of a Marketing Book club – let’s call it Rainmaker Readings.
This article first appeared as a LinkedIn blog posts – follow Jonathan here