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Our Commitment To “Just Good Enough”

by David Brock on February 3rd, 2022

My news feeds are filled with discussions about great customer engagement. Whether it’s marketing, sales, customer experience, there are endless discussions about the principles and practices of great sales and marketing.

Writers, commenters are universally agreed on some fundamental principles, whether it’s effective prospecting, being customer focused, messaging, deal strategies, value creation. They talk about what drives high performance, they talk about strong leadership, coaching, purposed, culture, values. They talk about investing in developing people and maximizing their performance. Discussions about training, tools, technology, processes, programs and other things that drive performance and higher levels of customer engagement.

While there are variants in their approaches, there may be some disagreements, some fundamental principles of customer engagement underlie the discussions–relentless customer focus, creating value with customers, building capabilities and capacity for our organizations to work in high impact ways.

Like me, they whine against the bad practices, often based on their personal experience–the junk that fills their inboxes, the bad practice in social channels, unprepared, unknowledgeable, self interested sellers and marketers focused on their own goals with little understanding or caring for what their customers face.

There is no lack of knowledge of what “good” looks like.

Of course, in the same channels we see some horrible, manipulative practices. While never explicitly stating, “Screw the customer, focus on everything that helps you achieve your goals,” there are those that promote those practices. Perhaps they don’t believe them, but are being provocative to draw likes or discussion. Perhaps they really believe what they promote.

But if I look at the balance, discussions are heavily weighted to principles and practices that we know to drive high levels of customer engagement and shared success.

Several times, I add comments to some of these discussions, I pose some variant of, “This is a great discussion on critical issues, but why do we fail so consistently to do these things?” Usually, I get no response.

Again, we know what “good” looks like.

But every day, I’ve wondered, “If we know what ‘good’ looks like, why do we fail so consistently in our execution?”

Sometimes, in my darker moments, I suspect we aren’t committed to great performance–with our customers or even for our own organizations. Sometimes, I worry that we are committed to mediocrity.

It seems like such a lost opportunity–for our work with customers, for the success of our organizations, and for our own personal sense of growth, learning, and achievement.

What keeps so many of us from doing what we know to be the most effective practice? Do we simply not care? What am I not understanding?

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