How are you incorporating customer experience into your selling strategy? Whether you are selling spaceships or iPhones, selling involves your ability to create a compelling reason for people to want to do business with you. Considering the selling cycles of spaceships and iPhones, your ability to create a satisfying and fulfilling customer experience can result in customer loyalty, as well. That aspect impacts nothing short of the long term revenue potential for your company.
Customer experience can be cultivated in every dialogue you have with potential customers and investors. If you are a startup, pitching and conducting customer discovery conversations with potential early adopters generates an experience for that customer. You are constructing first-impressions that propel investors and customers to “buy-in” to doing business with you. They can’t wait to see and hear what you come up with next. You are growing their nascent loyalty.
Customer experience is shaped in pre- and post-sale support for established small to mid-sized businesses. Your company’s focus is to configure a system of people and resources to nurture an ongoing relationship. That system becomes a vehicle for overcoming buyer’s remorse or skepticism, and replacing it with loyalty.
Customer experience is impacted by sales engineers who do more than demo, who are capable of understanding that their solution creates value for their buyer beyond the annual license. Cross-functional sales and engineering teams become customer advocates; this value-add to your business model creates the premise for enduring customer loyalty.
Over their lifecycle, your customers create their own “buying memory.” When you engage them, they compare their experience of you with their collective experiences of other startups, investments, purchases, solutions, sellers, doers. Will they place you in the same-old, unremarkable category? Will they sit up and take notice of the “something new” you bring to their buying equation? Their perception is the difference in whether they will purchase from you in the future.
Everyone is a customer of everyone else. We create our own customer experience networks when we engage in social communities, virtual conversations and in-person engagement. No matter whether your solution is exquisitely technical or amazingly social. The business of doing business involves emotional, relational, and experiential signals in addition to logical and rational evaluation of outcomes.
Customer experience isn’t one more thing to put on your business development to-do list. Customer experience is the umbrella under which all of your business development, selling, and technical strategies reside. Customer experience defines the context of your investors’ and buyers’ decision-making.
As you move through your business day, consider your customer experience strategy for you, as a business person of worth. Make some mental notes, and capture some mental images, of how you deliver on customer experience. Where can you make improvements? Your investors and customers will appreciate your insight.
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, is the catalyst for your business transition, startup growth and professional development. She was named one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers & Bloggers, 2013. Her book, Do YOU Mean Business? focuses on breakthrough business collaboration strategies and tools.