There is an old saying–only the lead dog enjoys a change of scenery. You know what all the other dogs are doing? They are just sniffing at the behind of the dog in front.
This is the approach many companies take in competitive markets. They tend to watch what their competition is doing very closely, then quickly try to emulate their product and feature focus and market messaging. However, this approach often sets a company up for failure.
Continue reading “The competition is irrelevant.”
As consumers, we live in the days of Black Fridays and Groupons. We expect products and services to be available at discounted pricing from time to time. On the flip side we are prepared to accept that, at times, we might have paid more than someone else.
In B2B sales, it’s not uncommon for vendors to offer attractive deals as they face the pressure of quarterly and annual targets, or as they try to land marquee customers. Often this results in better pricing, favorable terms, and a larger scope of license for new customers. However, there is a notable distinction between B2B and B2C markets.
Continue reading “The art of the deal–customers first, prospects next.”
Collaboration is a very powerful tool. When you co-create solutions with your customers, the end result will solve real problems for real people. Bring a group of customers together, understand their common concerns and through a disciplined process of shared learning, you will arrive at innovative solutions for their challenges. The collaborators will take pride in their contributions and spread the word to their friends and colleagues.
Continue reading “Collaboration begins at home.”
All organizations strive to have loyal customers. These customers give you their business over and over and help you gain new customers through endorsement to friends and colleagues.
Companies try to motivate this behavior through various referral and reward programs. From Starbucks to Delta to Starwood – customers earn points, miles, and other rewards they can use to subsidize buying more from that company.
While some of these mechanisms are true customer rewards, others are lock-in mechanisms that increase switching costs. Either way, they help keep the customer. However, a customer who stays with a company because they don’t want to lose their rewards, is not always a happy customer. Don’t mistake customer retention for customer loyalty.
Continue reading “Customer loyalty starts with an organization being loyal to its customers.”