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Managers, Our People Are Our Customers

by David Brock on May 22nd, 2022

What if we applied the principles of high impact, value creating selling to our work with our own people? What if we started applying the principles we leverage to create differential advantage, customer experience which drive retention, renewal, and growing our customers to our people.

We know some things about our customers:

  1. They don’t care about how much we talk about our success, who we are, and our companies.
  2. We know they care most about their own success. They want to eliminate problems, address new opportunities, grow, achieve their goals.
  3. We know they don’t care about our goals and what we need to accomplish, they care about theirs.
  4. We know they may not understand the need/opportunity to change and the impact on their performance, so we seek to “teach, tailor, take control.”
  5. We know that sometimes we have to incite them to change by helping them understand the “pain of doing nothing is greater than the pain of change.”
  6. We know our customers struggle in their process, they don’t know how to buy, what they should be looking at, the risks. They need help with their process and in their journey.
  7. We know they are overwhelmed with information and choice. They need help in making sense about what’s important to them, they need to be confident they have chosen well.
  8. We know they struggle with risk, that their risk in changing is far greater than the risks we face.
  9. We know that while there are similarities across customers, each customer situation is different and unique. So we have to adjust our strategies to those differences.
  10. We know one of the biggest problems is maintaining the commitment to change.
  11. We know indecision is a huge issue blocking our customers ability to make a decision and move forward. While they committed to change, indecision may paralyze them.
  12. We know the majority of customers that commit to a change, embarking on a buying process, fail.
  13. We know a large number of customers experience remorse about what they have chosen. If we are to keep them engaged, retain, and grow them, we need to manage their total experience, reducing/eliminating that remorse.
  14. We know our customers always have alternatives, they can do nothing, accepting the consequences of doing nothing, they can go somewhere else, or they can choose us, working and moving forward.
  15. We know customers want to know we care and we understand.

High performing sales people know how to manage all these issues. They know how to work, engaging customers in collaborative conversations, helping them learn, and achieve their objectives. And these high performing sales people recognize that until they help their customers navigate through a decision into implementation, the sales person will not achieve their goals. Stated differently, we achieve our goals through the customer success, not in spite of the customer.

I’ll pause here, undoubtedly there are things you can identify that drive great customer success, retains, and grows our relationship.

Now think about these issues. 100% of them apply to our people. How they think, how they feel, what they care about, how they learn, change, and grow.

What if we applied the same priniciples we leverage for great consultative/value based customer engagement strategies to our people? What if we started treating our people in the same way we aspire to treat our customers?

The added benefit of doing this, our sales people see how we achieve these things with them, and will emulate our behaviors in working with customers.

From → Leadership

  1. John S permalink

    Spot on, absolutely, 100%. Especially 1, 3, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15. Unfortunately we just got a new manager who understands very little of this, and I’ll be leaving soon.

    • John, thanks, sorry to hear about your situation. Give him a copy of this post and Sales Manager Survival Guide as a parting gift 😉

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