Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Your Customer's Customer

Many moons ago, while working at Harris Semi- conductors and a marketing manager, I had a disagreement with my boss about who ultimately paid our salaries. When I told him, “Our customers pay our paychecks; and actually it is our customers’ customers who paid our paychecks,” his retort was that he paid my salary. My boss felt that is was marketing’s job to convince our customers of what they wanted, preferably that it would be what we were trying to sell. Hard to believe that this guy got his MBA from the Sloan Business School!

I knew it then, and it has been proven to me over and over again that my boss was wrong (although I did get sacked for not only this disagreement but many others). What is important then is still important now. In sales, it is NOT what you are selling, what is important is the problems you are solving for your customer. The number one problem customers will face is what should they make to satisfy the needs and desires of their existing and potential customers.

So, if you really want to be successful in marketing, positioning, and selling your product or service, you better know what your customers' customers need. In order to know your customers' customer’s needs, it is mandatory to research their markets, competitors, pricing, and future trends. In having and sharing this information and insight you are offering yourself as a resource and differentiating yourself in the marketplace. The upside on this is that your are not concerned with what your competitors are doing, because you are too busy making profitable sales with your customers. On the downside, it does take more mental effort to be successful, but successful you will be.

Bottom line, STOP selling and START solving.


Mary B said...

I could not agree more! Most business marketing people do not have a clue about who they really are selling to. Good insight.

The Profit Prophet said...

Thank you Mary for your comment