Just what do you know about your customers?
Are you really interested in your customers and their business or just interested in the little bit of their business that buys your product? The distinction is an important one, especially if you are looking to be seen as a key supplier. Customers increasingly expect partnership suppliers to not just understand their little bit of the business but to have a broad understanding of the customers’ business in totality.
- What do they do?
- Who do they do it for?
- What’s their on-going strategy and objectives?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- How are they seen by their customers?
- How do they add value to their customer offering?
- How can you help?
- Do your customers know more about you than you do about them?
It’s time for “constructive nosiness!”
This is much more than just identifying customer needs and requires a much broader perspective. It demands a real interest and curiosity in the customer’s business. You need to see what your product or service does within the context of the customer’s total business. The only way to do that is to employ a degree of “constructive nosiness”. The reality, it seems to me, is that not enough of us are constructively nosey.
You have to be genuinely interested….
Curiosity doesn’t just happen. You need to be motivated enough to be curious, and that motivation stems from Interest. If you’re not interested you won’t care anyway, so curiosity simply won’t exist.
No curiosity? No knowledge….
The problem with this is that if you aren’t curious you don’t explore, and question, and look and observe and learn. And at the heart of knowledge lies opportunity, the golden nuggets that you are looking to unearth.
And at the heart of value selling lies curiosity. Go find some.