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GROWTH MINDSET

I find that there are typically two mindsets when it comes to business; a Sales mindset and an Operational mindset. With rare exception I find that business owners and executives have a preference for one or the other, which in turn influences their approach to managing their business and customer relationships. Unfortunately these mindsets are not mutually exclusive. In fact these differing frames of mind can often blur decision making ability.
 
During a talk this past week with over 300 Financial Executives I discussed the impact these two mindsets can have on business performance and provided the following perspective:

After you sell a product or service you must deliver on the customer's perception of your commitment. Failing to do so diminishes your chance of making a sale again.
 
There is only one mindset that matters in business; one that focuses on what the customer values. Everything else is waste.
 
Customer value helps us identify:

  • What offerings Marketing should create to appeal to and attract customers.
  • How Sales should position these offerings when meeting and interacting with the customer, and
  • How Operations should organize their people, processes and technology to deliver the desired value.

 
So here are a couple of questions to focus your mindset:

  1. What do your customers value in your products and services? Has your sales team asked them? Have you asked them?
  2. Are your Operations focused on processes that are self-serving, or those that directly contribute value to internal and external customers?

Of course you can choose to disregard these questions and risk remaining disconnected from your customers. But seeing how that has gone for Edward Lampert and Ron Johnson, I would suggest a "customer value" based mindset is the better approach.

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