message

it’s winter, and invariably I always come across one sign that always makes me think:

“caution, watch for falling ice”

there are several issues with this warning, one of them being by watching for falling ice, you actually put yourself in greater danger, but that is not the point.

the point is this: be careful about your message.  it is just as important to communicate your message in a way that the people you are trying to reach will understand, as it is for them to attempt to understand it.

gaps

having defined what your customer holds important, how does your organization stack up?  what do you need to put in place?

be honest with yourself, and your organization.

the worst option is to attempt to solve a problem with a product that isn’t right.

you, inc

regardless of your industry, your position, or your experience, the first and most important “thing” you represent is yourself.

are you perceived as generous? imaginative? unreliable?

it is a cliche, but businesses do not do business with businesses, people do business with people.

think of yourself as a little, one person company and pay close attention to how you build and maintain your brand.

 

second step

does your product and/or service help your customer either achieve their number one goal or eliminate their number one pain?

if so, you are on your way to achieving both of your goals.

if not, you either have the wrong solution, or spoke to the wrong person.

figuring this out is one of the most important steps.

interest

asking a customer, or potential customer, in depth questions is challenging.  it can be seen a intrusive; gaining too much information.

if you have shown by example that you are genuinely interested in their challenges, they will not hesitate to answer.

how do you show?  be more interested in their challenges than representing your products.

can you help them?  maybe, but you won’t know until you ask.

first step

the first step in developing a plan is understanding your customer from the inside.

understand what is important to them, understand what their goals are for the future, and understand the challenges they foresee.

the best way to get the information?  generously ask them.

plan

everything starts with a plan.  everyone knows this.

most mistakes happen after; who creates the plan?  what is the base of the plan?  how is it implemented?

the answers are easy: collaborate as a team and approach it from the customers perspective.  what do they need?  what are their pain points?

if you do this, you can’t help but succeed.