Last week Delta Point celebrated a huge milestone – our 15-year anniversary of business! When my wife and I first started the company, neither of us could imagine that Delta Point would enjoy so much success nor grow as it has in 15 years. We have worked and consulted for some of the best companies in the world, and we have done great work all over the world. We’ve had terrific people working with us and we’ve had great clients. Because Delta Point has been in business for so many years, I’m occasionally asked what tips I might have on how to be successful in business.
Many of us think we have a customer-focused approach when we really don’t. In his book The Ultimate Question, Fred Reichheld cites research that confirms there is a big disconnect between what we believe and what our customers think. 80% of senior managers felt their organizations were customer-focused and provided superior customer experiences. However, when their customers were surveyed, only 8% of their customers agreed. 80% versus 8%—that’s quite a disparity. What’s missing? Why aren’t we as customer-focused as we think we are?
“I only have 30 seconds.” Unfortunately, this is something that physicians tend to say with some regularity to representatives. So what exactly can you accomplish in 30 seconds? Quite a bit if you view this short amount of time as the opportunity it is. A good start is to understand why you are limited to 30 seconds. It’s probably due to the inane conversations this doctor has had with other sales representatives. Unfortunately, what these representatives had to say could actually be captured in 30 seconds and the physician’s time is too valuable to give any more than that for future conversations.
Words Matter! It’s an important mantra around here at Delta Point. I’m a big proponent of investing the time to choose just the right words when communicating. And in today’s technological world, it seems that words are gaining in importance as we connect with others whether via email or social media. In these cases, it’s all about the words because you can only interpret what is printed on the page or screen.
“He can’t see the forest for the trees.” When I heard this quote recently, I thought of how much the meaning of this phrase has changed for me over the years. Most people use this expression to describe someone who focuses on the details so much that they neglect to see the big picture. The opposite is also true—those who see the big picture are often unable to recognize the individual distinct trees which comprise that forest. But regardless of whether we see the big picture or are detail oriented, we tend to have the mindset that others see the same things we do.
Customer-centric. That’s been the buzz word in business for a few years now. Sales reps are taught to be customer-centric in their selling approach. Organizations tout that they are adopting a customer-centric culture. But I wonder if we polled their customers if they would agree that things are truly customer-centric. In my mind, being customer-centric is being able to think like the customer. But I wonder how many of us actually achieve that. Thinking like the customer is much harder to do in reality than in practice.
I stumbled upon a blog posting I had saved from June: Culture Change? Pope Francis Shows Us How and thought about how the leaders I’ve worked with often express concern about how difficult it is to change their selling culture. Just imagine how Pope Francis feels. He’s trying to change a culture which is steeped in ritual and history going back 2,000 years!
This is exciting news—it’s just been released. You can now listen to my bestselling book Stop Acting Like a Seller and Start Thinking Like a Buyer. It’s available on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes! (You can get this for free if you subscribe for an Audible trial through Amazon.com). This is indeed good news for those of you who can’t find the time to sit down and read a good book yet still want to learn the concepts and practical advice of how to sell better. Listening to this book may provide an even greater benefit—for now you have the opportunity to practice your skill of listening (which is essential for great selling).