There are certain signs that can tell us we need to do something fast to repair our relationship with our customer.
Over the years, there have been certain tell tale signs that I have noticed when in meetings with my contacts. They are sometimes quite subtle signs, but when I notice them I realize there has been a shift in the relationship and I had better do something to turn things around. Not to do so would be at my peril.
The tells are seldom observed all together, and if they are, you are probably past the point of no return. So if you notice any of these in your meetings start thinking about how you can turn this around and quickly. Here are 7 signs of a relationship in need of repair.
1. The customer focuses almost exclusively on the products in discussions
Products are rarely unique for the customer. They don’t differentiate and they do not want to discuss any other differentiation areas such as service.
2. In the meetings, there is a heavy focus on the selling and buying process
The customer talks about the process rather than on creating mutual value and identifying value for either the customer or the customer’s customer.
3. Discussions center around price
Focus is on looking at operating a discount price model rather than a ‘value added’ model.
4. Being internally driven rather than collaboratively minded
“What’s in it for me?” rather than “What’s in it for us?
5. Assuming that the relationship is a ‘zero sum game’
Everything is geared to what one side gets so the other must lose. There is no concern for a win-win.
6. Taking a short term view
Looking at this month, this order rather than thinking about the medium term picture (2-3 years).
7. Limited or no input and commitment from senior management
When both sides of senior management show they don’t see any value in investing their time.
Are any of these familiar? At your next meeting, see if you can spot any of them.