Are You Doing The Work Your Customers Care About?

By Dave Brock

Anthony Iannarino wrote a post, Why C Level Executives Should Take More Meetings With Sales People. Usually, Anthony and I are so aligned in our thinking, we tend to complete each other’s sentences (which makes for odd conversations). While I get Anthony’s point in the post, there’s an unfortunate reality.

Most of the time, sales people waste the executive’s time. Survey data shows customer complaints:

  • They don’t understand my business.
  • They don’t talk about what I want to talk about.
  • They don’t know their products (even though that’s what they want to talk about).
  • …….., They waste my time.

My personal experience aligns with this. As a “C-Level” executive (albeit for a very small company), I get dozens of calls a week. When I can, I answer every one, unfortunately, this is what happens:

“Can I speak to the person responsible for [Insert whatever you want] decisions?” They are just calling a list, they have no idea where they are calling other than a number on their call list. What value are they going to create for me.

I get a lot calling for me directly. Recently, I’ve gotten inundated with follow up from exhibitors at a conference I attended ( I was actually a speaker–in and out pretty quickly). These calls begin with, “I’d like to follow up with your visit to us at XYZ conference…” Well, I may have walked by their booth. I actually didn’t stop by to visit any.

I respond, “I was just there as a speaker, I didn’t visit your booth.” They say, “Well, we think your company might get a lot of value from our product…” My response is, “Do you know what my company does? Do you know what I do?” Ironically, much of the them of this conference was “customer intelligence.” You can guess what their responses are.

Like many of you, I download lots of white papers. Yes, I get the calls within a minute or so. No one ever asks me about the white paper–inevitably, I haven’t had a chance to read it in the seconds since the download, or why I was interested in it. Most of the time, “I’d like to tell you about our company…”

Reflecting back on the dozens of calls I’ve answered in the past 30 days, none of them have talked about anything I’ve been interested in. None of them really knew about me or my company or what I might be interested in.

Anthony’s right, C-Level execs, or any customer for that matter, are hungry to learn and improve. They want new perspectives, they want different points of view (OK, not all of them), they want to learn.

But why don’t they take sales people’s calls?

It really is our fault. 1000’s of blog posts, hundreds of books, every keynote speaker, every training program tell us what customers are interested in and how to get them to respond.

But why do we so consistently fail to do this? Why do we ignore what customers are telling us, what research supports?

Well, Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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