Listening: An Underused Growth Strategy Skill
A Lesson From Accelo
In my growth strategy workshops, we spend a lot of time and energy on customer analysis — understanding what your customers really buy from you. (Hint: they do not want your products and services — it is the results derived from those products and services).
There’s a relatively simple logic at play here: if you don’t understand your customers’ needs and wants, you will not be able to sustainably grow your business. For instance, let’s assume you think your customers are buying your products and services because of your advanced technology. But, your customers actually want on time delivery. Then, what they are really buying is reliability. So, you can talk about advanced technology until you are blue in the face and they won’t buy unless you can demonstrate that your technology delivers reliability (i.e., your technology makes you and your customers more reliable).
You probably already knew that. No news there. The harder question is, HOW do you know what your customers really want? One effective way is also one of the simplest:
Listen to them.
That’s why i love Accelo (formerly AffinityLive), my business management system (CRM, project management).
I’m not one of their large customers, so I don’t think I get any special treatment. My consulting firm is really small. But, Accelo takes the time to understand my business. And, there’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when a suggestion you’ve made is actually implemented. Accelo has an Ideas & Suggestions function in their Help box, which actually works. That is, not only do they acknowledge your idea, they actually use it. Kind of a novel approach, right?
That ability to listen and react to their customers and users has made Accelo’s product even better, especially with the new design unveiled this week. Their efforts makes it easier for me to manage my business. And, that’s what I wanted when I bought the technology — a tool to make my business life easier, not harder.