What does a day in the life of your typical customer look like? What’s it like to walk in their shoes?
How do the spend their time? How do they set their priorities?
Who do they work with? What do those people do when they work with our customers?
What does their work actually look like? How do they get things done? What tools do they use?
Are they in firefighting mode? Do they have a disciplined/execution oriented focus? Do they jump from one thing to another?
Are they achieving the goals management has established for them? Do they understand their goals? What happens if they don’t achieve their goals?
Are they happy and fulfilled in their jobs, in the company they work for?
What worries them?
What are their problems? What is the impact of those problems? How are they dealing with them—do they have work arounds, do they ignore them, do they tough it out and do the best they can do? Do they even recognize they may have problems?
At the end of the day, or the end of the week, do they feel like they have made progress, have they achieved something?
What are their goals–both tactically, but where do they see themselves in a year or two?
What are their dreams?
Who in the organization do they depend on to get things done? Who depends on them? Do they have great relationships with them, or do they have problems?
What information do they need to do their jobs? What happens when they don’t have it? How easy is it to get what they need in the form they need?
What are the skills and capabilities required for success? Do they have those skills, how do they acquire them.
Selling is and always has been about relationships. It’s about how well we understand our customers, how well we can engage them, how well they feel we understand and empathize with them.
It’s hard to build relationships if we don’t know how do relate to them.
It’s hard to relate to them, until we have walked in their shoes, seen things through their eyes, spent a day in their lives.
What’s a day in the life of your typical customer look like?
Afterword: Spending a day with a customer, shadowing them, talking to them about them and their jobs or over a beer at the end of the day is, possibly, the single best investment in your time you can make–both with that customer and with all those that are like them.