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Akamai Has It Right! Engage Customers In A Different Conversation

by David Brock on March 11th, 2009
I’ve been fascinated by Paul Sagan’s interview in Network World. I’ve written many times about how sales people need to go to customers and ask “How can we help?” We need to engage customers in a different conversation.

Akamai is engaging it’s customers in these new conversations. Sagan “want his sales team to spend more time with customers.” They are continuing to be aggressive in finding new business, but the have also “upped the expectation for how often we’re going to touch the customer and talk to them…..understand what’s going on in their business, what’s their pain point and can we help with it.”

In a time when many organizations are cutting back and reducing customer contact, Akamai is doing exactly the opposite–and guess what, they’ll win. Don’t use cutbacks and layoffs as an excuse to abandon customers. Keep the dialog going, learn what they are doing, be creative with them in finding ways you might solve their problems. Even if they are not buying now, they will be. If you aren’t talking to them frequently, you won’t be there when they do buy.

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3 Comments
  1. Brian MacIver permalink

    Customer Engagement,
    it was right 5 years ago,
    it is right today,
    and it will still be right in 5 years time!

    There was a 1990’s study [big IT] which concluded that the Salesperson who spent most time with the Customer,
    was most likely to win the business.
    The salespeople who spent least time
    were least likely to win. Simple.

    • The troubling thing Brian, is, Why do we struggle with this so? It’s been the not so secret secret to success since both you and I have been in sales (Around the time Moses was building a boat). Organizations still struggle with this. As always, your comments add so much to the value of the blog. Thanks!

    • Thanks Brian, I’m don’t recall the study. I think time may be a factor (familiarity/relationship/trust), I think impact may be a bigger factor–and those may be correlated.

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