Connecting With Customers

Greetings.  Whether you sell your products, services and solutions to businesses, consumers or government agencies, connecting with customers is vital to your success.  And doing it in a way that is more valuable than your competitors is more important than ever before.  Aided by the internet (or the interweb as our daughter Sara likes to call it), today's buyers have way more access to information, insights, options and the feedback of others.  This lets them compare competing offerings and purported customer experiences in more detail long before they ever kick the tires.

So how do you and your company stand out in this new and information-packed world?  And remember that it doesn't matter if you are a leading restaurant chain, car dealership or systems integrator.  You have to be different in some meaningful way to remain relevant and profitable.  And the customer "connection" is key.

Here are seven things to think about as you work to strengthen your relationships with customers and prospects…

1.  Make sure you really understand their needs and desires better than anyone else.  This means "living" with them, walking in their shoes and asking them about their wildest dreams!  That's right.  How would they envision the most amazing result of working with a partner like you?

2.  Challenge yourself to cast a much wider net in the search for ideas and solutions that would really meet and then exceed their needs and desires.  This means imagining and evaluating decidedly more compelling ways to address their challenge and delight them.

3.  Create and tell a story that really matters in meeting the customer's needs and desires.  A story that has them winning the Academy Award for Best Performance by a Customer in a Leading Role as you quietly win the statuette for Best Supporting Actor.

4.  Center your story around a promise worth keeping that is wildly better than the promise of others.  It can be a promise tied to a guaranteed result or customer experience that matters and is truly world-class.

5.  Create the right customer engagement model that will support your promise from start to finish.  A model based on their hopes and budget and your creativity.

6.  Seek to make the customer smarter and more capable at every step along the way.  In an age driven by information, figure out how to consistently drive the most valuable knowledge and know-how to every customer and prospect.

7.  Reinvent what it means to be responsive.  With the goal of making your business available and brilliant instantly, 25/8, 366 days a year, rain or shine.

Connecting

We win in business and in life when we make powerful connections with our customers and prospects.  And when we inspire them to be everything they dream of.

Cheers!