In the always-changing industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) ecosystem, factors defining client context one day may not be present the next.
Let’s face it. Winning new business is not getting any easier, is it?
- Consider how difficult it is to engage prospective and even existing customers.
- Ponder whether you are assuming that customer context remains the same as it was last time you communicated.
- Evaluate the impact of mis-assumptions when trying to move relationships forward.
Let’s explore two common mis-assumptions which impact our understanding of client context and client motivation.
First, we tend to assume a prospect or client is interested in doing business with us because they contact us and schedule a meeting.
Plus, we get pretty excited about the possibilities. Our imagination – and our own motivation – sometimes overwhelm our better judgement.
The goal of our conference call or meeting is to capture client context so we understand what really is motivating their interest in us.
- In addition, be aware that any time we are busy pitching and selling, we bias the conversation.
- Also, if we do all the talking, we limit our ability to detect subtle nuances in client reactions and responses.
While it is so difficult to schedule conference calls, don’t forget to be a bit skeptical, too. That’s a good instinct to have. So before presenting, proposing or giving away valuable training, consulting, software and mechanical engineering expertise, determine client context.
Why does this prospective customer or engineer have time on their hands? Yes, they may be a prospective end-user of your products and services. However, in their current context, are they functioning as information-collector or decision-maker?
Determine client context so you can leverage your insights about whether your client genuinely is interested in buying what you are selling.
Next, we assume our clients are ready to change.
In our euphoric rush to place solutions, we minimize the impact of placing that new solution, product or service within the current and future client context.
New additions to old systems and legacy contexts mean there is Change, with a capital “C,” involved.
How many clients have you ever encountered who were excited about the immediate impact of placing new products and solutions into the existing workplace infrastructure? Capturing client context means capturing organizational context and readiness, as well.
One of the biggest mis-assumptions about client motivation we make relates to the ability to stage Change. Even when dealing with one primary contact, rest assured there are entire teams and committees involved in implementing complex industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions.
Perhaps our contact is leveraging us to showcase herself. While our contact may embrace and champion our deliverables, her colleagues may not be as enthusiastic. After all, everyone has their own contexts and agendas. As a result, conversations become chaotic or stalemated. In addition, sales cycles become elongated because an organization cannot move quickly on scheduled implementation. In addition, there may not be learning programs in place to reinforce our solution’s value.
Take the time to determine customer context so you can understand client motivations. Ultimately, customer success is impacted both short- and long-term.
Capturing client context helps dispel mis-assumptions about client motivation.
Otherwise we are taken advantage of or, alternatively, propose the wrong solution to the wrong problem.
Assess whether you have experienced either one of these scenarios. More than once? Follow this link. Take the next steps to becoming more successful at determining client context and leveraging client motivations.
Babette Ten Haken writes, speaks, coaches and consults about collaborative value creation for customer retention. She humanizes the Voice of the industrial Internet of Things by creating compelling customer success stories for her clients. Contact her to discuss how she can collaborate with you!
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