When you’re making a decision about a sales or marketing issue how carefully are you looking at the mindset of your customer? In other words, does the mindset of the customer enter into your equation? How early do you go there? After the proposal is written? Before?
Amazing how many of us only think about the customer when we have to or when our first attempt fails. Careful discipline. Learning from our mistakes. Remembering our mistakes. All of these should lead us to the point where we bring the customer’s needs right into our planning…but they rarely do.
One of the characteristics of Peter Drucker’s writing is his constant awareness of the customer’s point of view. Drucker wrote that "in marketing one does not begin with the question: ‘what do we want?’ One begins with the questions: ‘What does the other party want? What are its values? What are its goals? What does it consider results? The Daily Drucker, p. 135).’"
Ever really slow down long enough to think through what your customer really wants? Here’s the crazy part. For lots of us, the customer is not easily defined. For lots of us, the customer could turn out to be any of several kinds of people. My definition? The customer is the one who hasn’t yet gotten to the inside. And my question is, "What would we have to value to reach that customer?"