Our clients just may hide their real business stories from us. When we sell to them, design for them, implement solutions or engage in customer service activities.
Initially, we are excited to do business with these clients, even if they already are existing customers. After all, the prospect of turning new business into repeat business means we bring value to their business tables.
In our euphoria to initiate new projects, we have an opportunity which we often overlook. And our decision to actually look for this opportunity is a mission-critical element contributing to the aggregated, client-perceived value of our per-project outcomes.
Our opportunity is to discover whether our clients are hiding their real business stories from us.
I know, I know. We just should be happy that we have business coming our way, shouldn’t we? And, of course, yes!
However, before we deliver repeat solutions to existing clients, or cloned client solutions to new customers, discover their real business stories. What clients tell us may not fully describe current customer needs.
First, customers can tell us overstated stories. And in our rush to close a deal, we believe them. When we should become skeptical. And yes. While a signed deal, or a project to be implemented, is a great tactical way for us to make our numbers, the deal or project may be less than ideal. To sustain our relationship with that customer.
Second, management discourages us from asking more questions than we need to. For some reason, the value of questions is de-valued. Considered risky. Because asking “that” one little question just may derail the sale or change project scope. While we remain obligated to honor the parameters of the signed contract.
The real opportunity is to discover the real business stories, and business cases, behind the current deal or project scope.
The real business story, and underlying business case, can represent a completely different scenario than what is being bid on. Requiring, in actuality, a different outcome from what currently is proposed. Especially when our goal is to create remarkable and enduring client-focused outcomes to sustain our clients’ businesses and organizations.
Confidently, collaboratively and profitably learn how to ask questions which uncover and clarify the real business stories behind each project. Learn more here.
All that is involved is taking a small step, forward. Beyond the processes, patterns and habits we are comfortable with. Into areas we currently perceive as Risky. To discover our real opportunities: the more profitable and enduring deals and opportunities already enjoyed by our competitors.
After all, leveraging the Real Opportunities we all take, together, is the basis of compelling customer storytelling. Learn more here.
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Babette Ten Haken catalyzes organizations and associations, like yours, who want to leverage a more profitable workforce to retain the customers you work so hard to win. One Millimeter Mindset™ speaking and storytelling programs are dedicated to: Leveraging Collaborative Business Models and Profitable Workforces to Retain Customers. Babette is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Babette’s Playbook of collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Her professional speaker profile appears on the espeakers platform.
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