A book recommendation from Dan Beaulieu
Beyond The Sales Process: 12 Proven Strategies for a Customer-Driven World
By: Steve Anderson and Dave Stein
Copyright 2016 Amacom
Pages: 264 with Index
The section on sharing a Vision for success with your customer is the best I have ever read on the subject.
You know when you read a book and you start writing in the margins and highlighting paragraphs and dog earing pages so that you will go back to them? Well there is so much good stuff in this book, especially the first couple of sections that it took me a couple of hours to get through the first 50 pages.
From customer evaluation to making sure you are in sync with your customers to learning how to have a complete understanding of your customers and everything about them I literally could not read more than a sentence or two without highlighting some pearl of wisdom.
I have to share this part with you:
From page 38 which is based on how your customers define supplier value:
How would your customer respond to these statements? Would they say “Yes” or “No” to these statements?
This is your customer being asked to agree or disagree with these:
- You make it easy for us to do business with you.
- You resolve our problems and conflicts as they arise.
- You understand our business and our industry.
- You listen to our needs before talking about your offerings.
- You consult with us with an intent to solve our business problems.
- You dedicate the resources that will enable us to work effectively together.
- You provide us with preferred pricing and contract terms
- You align your team members with ours.
- You approach our business strategically and not just transactionally when we’re buying.
- You plan the future together with us even when we are not buying.
- You develop relationships with our executives and yours.
- You help us understand the specific value of your offerings
- You help us assess your performance with mutually acceptable metrics.
- You share best practices and industry knowledge that will add value to our business.
- You provide a single point of contact to us for strategy and decision making
- You provide an internal advocate for us that will be focused on our specific needs.
Sorry Dave and Steve and I am stealing this set of statements this litmus test if you will and using it with the clients I consult. In fact I used it with one of them yesterday, a company that is having a hard time defining themselves right now and what was supposed to be a twenty minute exercise turned into a three hour exercise.
Besides that the book is filled with a number of very pertinent case studies exemplifying how other companies are using the techniques developed by these guys to make their relationships with their customers very wide and very deep.
Anybody who is in the B to B end of things and has customers has to have this book. This means everyone in business has to read this book. It represents a new world order of customer capture, customer growth and customer retention.