You have heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” While there’s some truth to this, developing meaningful client relationships goes beyond simply knowing someone—it’s about cultivating intimacy. As a consultant, building intimate relationships with clients is critical to your professional development and enables you to create a lasting and meaningful … Continue reading “Creating Intimate Client Relationships”
We’ve all been there. We’ve built what we thought was a strong, client relationship only to watch it dissipate as time goes on. This happens for many reasons, but often it is a result of the consultant failing to enrich the relationship as time passes. To create meaningful and lasting relationships, value must be actively … Continue reading “Adding Value to Client Relationships”
You never know who might become your firm’s most important client, or how a client relationship may assist in your career development. Client relationships (and all sorts of relationships for that matter) can be fickle, but it is safe to say that building strong relationships is jugular to the success of any company or individual. … Continue reading “Investing in Client Relationships”
Talent Development & Customer Intimacy As I stated in my last post, talent is always important and is one of the key drivers of building and sustaining customer intimacy. Your people will constantly be generating new Ideas, then taking those Ideas to your customers and delivering on the promises made. In addition, these teams are accountable … Continue reading “Talent Development & Customer Intimacy”
The Talent Imperative: Why People Make the Difference in Customer Intimacy Business Model Transformations
Many of our historically product-focused clients are shifting their organizational and operational focus to address buyers’ needs in their key markets. Talent is always important but is particularly critical as businesses move to these customer intimacy-based models that require a deep understanding of the market needs. A transformation to an intimacy-based business necessitates an array … Continue reading “The Talent Imperative: Why People Make the Difference in Customer Intimacy Business Model Transformations”
Since it’s so important to success, let’s talk about messaging and the sales force. You must differentiate your business with clear messaging attributes which include:
- An Idea Selling™ storyboard
- Answers to key questions like:
– “Why” they should do this
– “How” they can do this
– “With whom” should they do this
The Idea Selling™ storyboard must be complete but concise. Glean out a 2-3 minute explanation of why examining the Idea is so important for the customer group – The Idea Statement. If the story takes 15 minutes to explain, it is by definition not messaged well, too complex, or too focused on your firm’s capabilities, for this stage of your journey.
Linkages are pre-planned connections from one offering that pulls through the next offering. The connections are made by carefully pre-planned and executed sales activities. Of course in reality, linkages do not begin at the end of one project and end at the beginning of the next. Linkages are positioning activities that take place during the initial sales process and during projects. The positioning may not only be related to the next project in the Service Chain, but also can be made with regard to the entire Service Chain.
When developing Service Chains™ it is important to evaluate their business value and your ability to implement them in the market. At McMann & Ransford, we recommend tracking the following criteria to help foster customer intimacy:
Let’s take some time and discuss the power of ideas and their importance as the central component of a True Solutions™. Good ideas facilitate the road to true customer intimacy.
A solution is the embodiment of an idea – and how the idea can be realized. The idea is the kernel of the change in the relationship from pushing products and discussing business opportunities. Often conversations that are supposed to be about solutions are really about how to better use our products and get more bang for the buck in our relationship; these are valuable issues but not True Solutions™ discussions.
In the simplest sense, marketing has a direct role in market strategy, participation strategy, and enabling the success. Because of their unique role and perspective on the business, marketing owns or is heavily involved in the strategy of the business, and often drives the decision-making process of how to address commoditization issues.