Sellers know that value creation and realization are critical in engaging our customers. We create value in many different ways—insight we might bring our customers, inciting them to think differently and change, helping them make sense of all the information they try to sort through, helping them navigate their buying journey, helping them make a decision with high confidence, and helping them realize the value they expected as they implement the change.
Value creation is a fundamental in our work with our customers.
But what about the value we create within our own organizations? What value are we creating with our people? As we look at the principles we use in creating value with our customers, the same principles are very powerful within our own organizations. Imagine how we might drive performance and engagement if we started leveraging the same concepts as we coach and develop our people, and as we work with other functions within the organization.
Let’s walk through some of the ideas, leveraging what we do with our customers.
We know pitching is not creating value for our customers. They don’t want us to be pitching, they have more effective ways of learning, or they simply may not care (though possibly they should).
We know to effectively engage customers, we have to move away from pitching, we have to engage them in collaborative conversations. The most effective conversations are two way discussions, helping the customer think differently, helping them consider new things.
We know, sometimes, they don’t recognize the need to change. We have to incite them to change. We provide insights, examples of what others are doing. We help them understand the necessity of changing. We recognize in considering the change, they need guidance. They tend to get lost, they tend to revert to what they have always done. We know they struggle with FOMU, they struggle with risk and what the change means to them. We know that we need to work with them in building their confidence they are doing the right things.
We know they are overwhelmed, we have to help them make sense of what they face, help them sort through the issues, focusing on that which is most relevant to what they are trying to achieve. We know unless they have great confidence in the decision they have made, they may not succeed. We know we have to address these issues from both a personal and business perspective, making decisions based on emotional factors, rationalizing them with the facts.
Our people face exactly the same issues and concerns. Whether it’s an individual seeking to maximize her performance, or a team struggling with a change initiative or even collaborating effectively, the things they face are similar to those our customers face–yet the context is slightly different.
It seems if, as managers, we treat our people and others in the organization as we would our customers, we would engage them more deeply, effectively, and drive huge improvements in performance and engagement.
The side benefit of this, is when they see the same behaviors we are modeling with them, they will tend to emulate those in their conversations with customers.
Value creation is not limited to what we create with our customers. Perhaps one of the biggest areas of value creation is that we create with our people and teams within our organizations.