I have to confess some exhaustion. Pundits and experts in social media, each promoting their own brand of miracle cure or short cut to success. “Do these 3 things and make your numbers!,” “With this tool/service, you will be overwhelmed with leads.”
Likewise, I’m exhausted looking at organizations implementing their favorite “program du jour.” Whether it’s a new approach to engaging customers, a new tool or technique they read about in social media, or some other bright shiny object. They are excited about it for about a day, it becomes the core to their success, until the next day, when a new priority or initiative comes along.
Selling is simple—not easy—but it is simple. There are basic principles that have existed for at least decades. At it’s core, “find a customer with a problem you are the best in the world at solving, help them commit to changing, and help them solve their problem….” Rinse and repeat. Disciplined, consistent execution of the fundamentals. It’s almost so obvious, it’s boring—and that may be the problem.
Since the world changes, while the principles remain the same, applying, learning, improving, adapting–with our customers is critical. The problems, challenges, and opportunities our customers face continue to change. Our solutions must adapt and change to meet customer requirements. How we reach, engage, and create value with the customer must evolve.
But the underlying principles remain constant and should ground everything we do.
Somehow we are drawn to easy and simplistic, yet that does not align with our customers’ worlds. It’s not easy for them, it’s complex, filled with risk (personal and organizational), filled with uncertainty.
There is no silver bullet or magic cure to helping our customers deal with complexity. There are no easy answers.
It starts with caring. It continues with knowledge/expertise–focusing on the problems we can help customers solve and those customers committed to solving them. It’s about helping them make sense of what they might do and should do.
They have to do this hard work, it only seems reasonable that we do the hard work with them.
Stop being distracted. Stop looking for “easy,” commit to doing the work, with your customers.