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How Does Your Customer Make Money?

By: Dave Brock


How Does Your Customer Make Money

Recently, I was in a discussion with a group of sales people. I posed the question, “How does your customer make money?”

Most of them responded with what their customers did, for example: “They’re a SaaS company, they manufacture products for this market, they are a services provider……”

They knew some basics about the customers, their products, and so forth, but they struggled to get to any detail about how their customers made money.

I asked them, “What is your customer’s business model,” which is a more obscure way of asking how they make money. Most of the people in the group struggled with this.

Understanding how our customers make money (even if our customers are government or not for profit) is critical for us in selling to them. Their business strategies, priorities, investments, organizational structures, product plans, operations, sales/marketing/customer service, talent management, and financial decisions are all driven by the answer to the question, “How does your customer make money?”

If we can answer that question, at some level of detail, then we have the ability to connect and engage the customer in more impactful ways. We know what drives much of their decision making.

Without knowing the answer to the question, we don’t know how to position our products and solutions. Because we always have to answer the question—“How does what we do help our customers make money?” We can’t just answer that question in a casual way. We can’t leave it to the customer to figure out; after all, why should they take the time? We always have to answer the question of what we can do for our customers in the context of how they make money.

Some think, “We only have an impact in one function or department,” or “In the scheme of things our impact on the corporation is very small…” But connecting the dots between our impact and the ability to impact the way our customers make money is critical. As our sponsors within the customer look to justify their decision, they will be challenged with that question. We have to equip them with the information to answer it.

Do you know how your customers make money?

Do you know how you help your customers make money?

Published: June 29, 2017

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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