Most executives say they don’t get out from behind their desks to connect with their customers as often as they should.
Many say they occasionally do ride-alongs with their reps, but more often than not it feels like being an awkward third wheel. Others say they get out and do meet and greets that feel more like a waste of time than a meaningful interaction.
When the president of a sporting goods manufacturer learned the technique of having a Value Creation Conversation, that all changed, and his business transformed from struggling to thriving. He was investing a lot of money in sales training, but soon found out that there was another area of his business that needed far more investment and attention.
Using a carefully crafted set of questions that had nothing to do with selling more product and everything to do with finding out the problems, opportunities, challenges, and issues his customers were really facing, he uncovered one very key theme: “You’re too difficult to do business with!”
As he dug deeper, he found that far from being the path of least resistance, he had issues in his supply chain that were making his customers’ lives miserable. All the sales training in the world would not have addressed that issue.
The saving grace is that he had a great product that his customers loved, and they told him unequivocally that they’d do more business with him if he made it easier for them to do so. In fact, he walked away from his Value Creation Conversation roadtrip with over $600K of new business.
Even more importantly, his customers told him that for the first time they felt that THEY had received value as a result of spending time together, and that the door was open any time to continue the dialogue. Solidifying relationships with customers at that level – even when they’re unhappy – is priceless.
His transformational process is still underway at this point, however a simple set of meaningful questions completely changed his strategic priorities, enabled him to drive top line growth, stripped unnecessary costs out of his business, and had significant positive impact on his bottom line.
Invest the time to have Value Creation Conversations with your customers. You’ll see tangible impact on your profit and growth. Read more about Value Creation Conversations in Profit in Plain Sight here.