If you are really good at discovery, you quickly determine whether, or not, these two concepts are light years apart. Often, decision makers have a rosy view of the reality of their business case.
There’s a saying: “perception is reality.”
With a little bit of marketing and advertising, companies influence buyers to initially purchase products and services. However, customer success and customer retention are earned. Brave, ethical and realistic business professionals align current business perception with future reality.
Have I just described you?
How often do you determine whether the business perception of a decision-making team is consistent with business reality?
Otherwise, you both waste each other’s time over the long haul. It boils down to a matter of professional ethics: yours and theirs.
Far too many sellers are anxious to make their numbers. As a result, they sell whatever solution they can to whomever will buy. I’m not even going to discuss whether there is any business value in selling to “low hanging fruit.” These companies, and the folks who sell to them, are a different case of business reality, altogether.
However, plenty of companies – especially in the small to mid-size range – entice sellers by telling them they are “poised to get to the next level” and “ready to buy.” Have you ever heard a decision maker use these phrases?
When I hear that phrase, it immediately raises a red flag for me. I become skeptical. More importantly, I have absolutely no intention of taking that client’s word for it. Instead, I target isolating their primary business question.
Conduct some financial palm-reading to determine whether business perception is even close to business reality.
When a company tells me they are poised to move to the next level, I want proof. Just like the decision maker wants proof that I (and you) create value and will deliver on promises.
The last time I checked, conducting business still is a two-way street and a dialogue. The strategy involves relentless – and enduring – collaboration between your organization and theirs.
If you are in the business of helping individuals and organizations grow, expand, sustain and enter end of lifecycle, like I am, you want proof of business life. Which means you ask to see the client’s financials.
First, a client’s business perception of profit and loss can be nowhere near business reality. In addition, client business perception is influenced by positive customer experience and satisfaction survey results. However, often these results are survey-biased.
Realistically, a decision maker’s perception about moving to the “next level” often rests multiple tiers below their current perception of business reality.
As a Business Person of Worth, do you give in and sell what they want to buy?
Alternatively, do you reframe their business perception of their business reality? I think you know me well enough by now to figure out what I would do. But that is me, not you.
There are far too many folks out there who are hungry enough to sell a customer what they want to buy. So, the seller conducts the transaction, and it is a transactional sale no matter how exciting it is. Why? There is no enduring value involved. As a result, even over the short run, the proposed product or solution is inappropriate, irrelevant or too sophisticated for the client’s organization.
Alternatively, reframing decision-maker expectations by collaborating to understand the context of their business reality not only is more ethical. Also, executing this strategy creates more enduring client outcomes. Your professional word becomes your professional bond with the client.
What type of decision-maker would you rather do business with?
Get yourself “unstuck” from poor choices in clientele that keep you from becoming a remarkable Business Person of Worth. Contact me today to discuss you, your team’s or your organization’s business case. What are you waiting for?
Babette Ten Haken is a corporate catalyst and innovative speaker. She serves organizations as a strategist, coach and storyteller. Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ Workshops and Speaking programs leverage collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer success for customer retention. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.
Image author: Marek Image source: Fotolia