It’s About Doing, Not Waiting II
In our previous post we noted that success in our new industry is not about what the economy, consolidation, or the next big thing is going to do for us, but rather what are we doing for ourselves. We discussed the importance of establishing ourselves as experts, and the need to document our contributions to our clients’ success. However, unless we know our clients’ goals, what they value most, we would be making important decisions based on some unverified assumptions. And as we stress in the NAPL State of the Industry Report, Eleventh Edition (sponsored by KBA), while the return to making the right decisions is greater than ever, so is the cost of making the wrong decision. So here is something else we need to do to get and stay on the right side of market redistribution: We need to hear the voice of our best clients.
How else are we going to learn more about our clients so we know what their goals are, and what they value most? In the recently released NAPL State of the Industry Report we talk a lot about hearing the voice of your best clients more clearly, because no voice is more important to our businesses. Among the actions NAPL State of the Industry participants are taking to hear the voice of their best clients:
• Meet more frequently on an owner-to-owner/executive-to-executive basis. They’re hearing from the customer directly.
• Train/hire sales reps in consultative selling. Companies are using consultative selling to get beyond the typical sales rep/print buyer relationship.
• Hang out where best clients hang out. They’re not only physically attending the clients’ trade shows and industry events; they’re also following key clients on Facebook and Twitter, setting up Google Alerts, etc.
• Conduct competitive-analysis surveys. Companies are using surveys such as NAPL’s eKG Competitive Edge Profile™ to measure how they compare to the competition on the issues that matter most to their clients.
In order to get and stay on the right side of market redistribution, many NAPL State of the Industry participants are adopting the following mindset: If it’s important to our best clients, then it’s important to us.
Andy Paparozzi Joe Vincenzino