From the Back Cover
Be passionate about the customer’s business results. Know their competitors, problems, issues, and needs. Foresee future needs. Keep commitments. Follow up ruthlessly. Be a facilitator of change.
These are the rules by which world-class salespeople operate. No longer is it sufficient for a sales professional to rely on the techniques pioneered half a century ago: a radical change is underway in the marketplace and you must innovate in order to keep up.
The Mind of the Customer offers an in-depth analysis of today’s customers’ wants, needs, and problems, and reveals groundbreaking insights into the new expectations of today’s top sales executives. Drawing from their interviews with 96 high-level executives at corporations such as Lexus, Nokia, and UPS, The Real Learning Company’s Richard Hodge and Lou Schachter uncover what the new generation of salespeople needs to know to succeed--what clinches the deal, what loses it. The Mind of the Customer presents a four-pillared approach that defines a world-class sales force strategy:
- UNDERSTAND: Know what drives each business, what challenges the business faces, and what global and industry contexts the business operates within.
- CREATE: Appreciate what each customer really values. Pay attention to all the relevant dimensions of value and avoid solely price-driven interactions.
- COMMUNICATE: Make presentations interactive and negotiations cooperative. Create an atmosphere amenable to change and mutual success.
- MANAGE: Provide opportunities for salespeople to gain knowledge, develop new mindsets, and build skills. Focus on coaching and education.
The rapid rate of information exchange coupled with increasing global competition means that customers can now demand more. They require a sales professional who understands the changing needs of their company and who can gauge their own role in it.
As the rules of the game change, different players will take the lead. New kinds of sales professionals, sales managers, and sales leaders will emerge. The Mind of the Customer offers a crucial roadmap for the future of sales success.
About the Author
Richard Hodge founded the Real Learning Company in 1994 after holding both sales leadership and other executive roles in global companies, where he worked with customers who included half of the Fortune 500. He helped to develop new technology categories and worked with Lexus, UPS, Genentech, American Express, and others to implement new breakthrough strategies.
Lou Schachter is senior vice president for design and development at the Real Learning Company. Before joining the Real Learning team, he wrote learning programs for salespeople at a variety of companies, including Cisco and Merck. Previously, Lou helped lead the fast growth of a specialized communications firm.