By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 02/12/2021
Published in American Printer

“The most important thing in communications… is to hear what isn’t being said…”….Peter Drucker, Writer, Consultant, Educator

INTRODUCTION:

It’s year end. Let’s conduct a review of important business and Top 20 Customer issues….since our ability to distinguish our organization to our Top 20 Customers….and Top 20 Prospects….depends much on what we correctly know about their Priorities…and needs.

Sidebar: Who’s checking…with our Business Development Leaders…on what is new and updated information they’ve gained….and how they are using that information… to improve our contributions to our Top 20 Customers business performance….?

few questions - Sid Chadwick

A Few Observations and Questions… To Generate… Discomfort:

  1. We are either “Proactive”… or… “Reactive”… with our top 20 Customers. Who has not been contacted in the last 30 days? (We’re talking about our Top 20…!)
  2. We either document our understandings of important issues…and each customers’ Priorities…for follow-up….or… we count on our “memories and “perfect recall”… to be available… with information…when we need it…
  3. If we know our Top 20 Customers’ Priorities…and Sources of Pain….we can be proactive…..so….How many Proposals and written Suggestions were sent out — over the last 60 days…..?
  4.  What Questions have we trained our Business Development Leaders…to ask…and what were their results….?
  5. What are our strategies… for getting the attention of our Top 20 Prospects…? (“Are we using our most relevant, dynamic Samples”…and…”What do our Presentations look like…and sound like….?”)
  6. We live in a world of significant information, that’s practically free. What useful, relevant published articles have we sent to Top 20 Customers…and Prospects…?
  7. Are there standards of “New Business Pipeline Development”…that are reviewed… every 30 days… with our Business Development Leaders…and for which they are held accountable…?
  8. How often do we introduce…in “Joint Sales Calls”…our Top Personnel – to our Top 20 Customers…and Prospects? (Do our actions say, “We’re a Team”….?)
  9. Are we educating our personnel…and…our Top 20 Customers…and…our Top 20 Prospects….on how to use our capabilities…including Print…to improve their performance…? (Isn’t this an unending process…that includes …the use of Print….?)

SUMMARY:

For too many Customer Surveys we’ve conducted… over 25+ years… too many customers testified that they:

 (a) did not know much…. about their Survey Sponsor’s capabilities,

(b) did not believe their Survey Sponsor understood their company’s  priorities… and

(c) wanted a meaningful follow-up to Survey feedback…which too often… did not occur.

Our industry is being “pruned”… by the marketplace….customers won’t tolerate casual suppliers…or mediocrity….and many are… consolidating their suppliers…such that remaining suppliers…can be counted on to take better care of their customers…and are certainly…better communicators.

Pandemic Fatigue”… is no excuse for lack of accountability…lack of review…lack of recognition…and lack of improvement…

Is your organization better…especially with your customers communications…(which includes listening…and asking questions)…than a year ago….Do you know what needs to improve…Do your personnel know what needs to improve…?

What did your Customers tell you…or your number one Competitor…on their Survey…? (And “yes”…we have multiple clients… with 2 and 3-week backlogs… of work….!)

The best way to predict the future….is to create it…”…Peter Drucker, Writer, Consultant, Educator

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