This is a story about what one of my clients just did that turned into a big time home run:
- Scheduled a full day internal strategy session with the sales team, the engineering team and the entire support staff
- Commissioned each rep to make a video of one customer decision maker talking about what he or she values
- Showed all the videos to all attendees
- Discussed each one
- Developed action plans
At first the reps grumbled, but since they had no choice, went ahead with it. Then it got interesting. Virtually all of the customers were totally open to being recorded. All were flattered – and more importantly impressed – that the reps cared enough about their concerns to want to share their perspectives with engineers and support staff. The customers opened up with the good, the bad and the ugly. They talked at length about problems, concerns, opportunities and plans.
At the strategy session, engineers and staff who had never met the customers got first-hand, direct insight into what they were thinking. The internal silos came crashing down. Opportunity after opportunity was identified. Problem after problem got solved. Finger pointing was totally absent. Everybody was too busy focusing on and thinking about the customer. (Let me repeat that: Everybody was too busy focusing on and thinking about the customer.)
Fast forward ten days… Two of my colleagues and I had a meeting with the CEO of this client. We had a jam packed, full day agenda with no room for extraneous discussion. I opened the meeting by saying, “Hey, Bob, before we get started could you tell us a bit about the videos you made of your customers?” Well, he did. He talked for an hour and ten minutes! He told us that both he and his entire team thought it was the best, most effective strategy session any of them had ever done. The three of us just sat there and listened to how he had taken our ideas, added his own intellignece and spin and turned the whole thing into a huge freaking home run.
We’ve got a video of the whole thing. Do you think we’ve learned and gotten a far deeper insight into what this important client of ours is thinking? Read that line above again about “too busy focusing on and thinking about the customer.” Watch the little snippet of our client below. Read this post on the High Velocity blog. Then go do it!!!