I see that in professional life and in personal/social life as well.. perception matters. I wouldn’t want to always care about it, however there are times when it matters how others perceive you or what you do, and this is particularly important in a business scenario as the success of a service/product (and in turn, the business) depends greatly on what its customers perceive it to be. It does not really matter if you have the best product in town (according to you, again), and your customers don’t think of it that ways – eventually, they (customers) dictate if your product succeeds or not.
Many times the customers do not agree with our views on what the product/service does, and internally (within the company) everyone feels that customer is not getting it… and the argument/discussion goes on endlessly. People always perceive the way they want to based on their thoughts, experiences, beliefs, predispositions, personal agenda. Here, it is the customer, and customer’s perception matters for business success! So what can we do here? Temporary – do not disagree (so you need not agree as well) with what the customer says – there is a reason for them to say/believe what they say/believe unless they are highly irrational/unreasonable, and one needs to try to find that reason. And then dig into why this perception got created – something we did, or maybe the customer was biased for reasons beyond our control, or something else. In case of the second option, there’s really not much we can do. However, if we see many customers with similar sounding concerns then that means there’s a problem at our end and we are perhaps not relaying our message clearly, or doing something else wrong – and so then that’s what needs to be fixed.
At the end of the day, it really does not matter what we think of our product/service, what matters is what the users (for whom it is made) think of it. In business, they are the ones who are going to use it and (more importantly) pay for it.
Sam pointed me to a very interesting definition of sales he recently heard from someone. Sales is a true definition of “work” – which is force accompanied by displacement (in physics). There are two key elements here – force (your sales efforts) and displacement (meaning revenues, deals). In a sales or business development role, no matter what ever else you do, without these two, everything is eventually considered futile.
This is a follow up to my previous post on reaching out to potential prospects in our tech-savvy, executives-are-more-busier-now times. OK, so once you’ve connected with them, what do you do..?? I would love to write about it, however when some one else has articulated it very well, why reinvent the wheel… so sharing the article I read this morning on RWW –11 Biz Dev 1.0 Tips. These are so very common-sensical tips, but then common sense has always been a rather rarely used commodity so who ever uses that does well :-).
I was reading a very interesting article this morning – Guide to Business Development 2.0. Alex (author) hits the right button when he says how, even now, many companies use pure play cold calling route to reach out.
I am amazed when sales folks cold call – it IS intrusive. Then there are many companies who send out these really lengthy emails (at times with attachments!) talking about themselves, without explaining in the first 2-3 sentences the purpose of the email, and mentioning briefly what is it that they do that could be of relevance for the (email) recipient. Isn’t that common sense? Who cares what all you do – what matters is what can you do for “me”, which is relevant for me.
And the best part is when these companies (using such mechanisms) wonder why no one is responding. I mean, just put yourself in the recipient’s shoe and you will get the answer.
Follow up post here.