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Do Your Customers Feel Heard?

By: Dave Brock

 

listening to a customer

We are driven to pitch our products and solutions. Our questioning and discovery strategies each have an agenda, we seek answers that enable us to pitch. We have presentations focusing on us, our products, our companies and how great we are. We have closing strategies focused on getting the order. Somehow, our customers are lost in the process. Do your customers feel heard? Maybe not.

What does ‘feeling heard’ mean?

It’s not just about what’s happening in their business—their problems, their opportunities, their challenges. It’s not just about how they navigate their buying process.

It’s not just about learning how others are addressing similar issues. It’s not just about the business case, ROI and other financial issues. It’s not just how much discount they can negotiate.

Change and buying is about so much more. We tend to focus on these issues because these are the easiest issues to deal with. Our customers often focus on these issues for the very same reason. But all this doesn’t necessarily address the biggest roadblocks to our customers’ abilities to move forward.

They are worried about other things. They worry if they are doing the right thing. They worry about messing up. This is a dominating factor with each person involved in the change and buying process. It is a factor with those executives that approve it.

Too often, sellers don’t take the time—often they don’t care—because understanding these things takes time. It requires sellers to understand the customer as people, not as titles and company employees.

We talk about the importance of relationships in complex B2B sales. We talk about building trust. But we don’t take the time, because we may not know how to. It’s not that difficult. We have to start with their stories. Michelle Norris, in her bestselling book, Our Hidden Conversations: What Americans Really Think About Race and Identity reminds us, “People who share their stories feel seen and heard.”

What if we take the time to understand our customers’ stories?

Published: April 30, 2024
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Source: Partners in Excellence

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Dave Brock

Dave Brock is the founder of Partners in EXCELLENCE, a consulting and services company helping to improve the effectiveness of business professionals with strategy development, organizational planning, and implementation. Dave has spent his career working for and with high performance organizations, ranging from the Fortune 25 to startups, including companies such as IBM, HP, Nokia, AT&T, Microsoft, General Electric, and many, many more. The work Dave does with business strategies is closely tied to personal effectiveness of the people in the organization. As a result, Dave is deeply involved in the development of a number of training and coaching programs.

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