As you engage with your community and especially your customers, prospects and trusted advisors ALWAYS seek, ask for and encourage the truth. Too often people meet with others in their industry and have drinks and chat over how great everything is going and how wonderful their respective companies are. It is nice to meet with friends and exchange pleasantries but DO NOT mistake these meetings for confirmation that you are doing the right things. If you want to get better YOU MUST seek out the truth.
Here is what I believeâ€¦
If you are not getting better every day you are getting worse. There is no such thing as standing still.
In order to improve your business you need to understand your strengths yes but you also must understand your weaknesses either real or perceived. If you are not meeting the needs of your community and fulfilling your deliverables than someone else will. Engage in REAL conversations with people who are friends and foes. Here are some of the people you should seek out:
- industry experts
- business partners
- lost customers
- customers on deals you lost
Some of the questions to ask and data to acquire about your company:
- Did you end up purchasing a solution to assist with your business needs ?
- if so who and why
- if not, would you consider doing business with us in the future, why or why not
- How would you describe your experience in dealing with us
- What could we have done differently in the sales process
- Were there aspects of our product/solution functionality that did not meet your needs
- Were there aspects of our implementation/methodology that caused you concern
- Was our pricing competitive
- Was our sales representative professional and effective at addressing your questions
- What is your perception of our Company
- How would you describe us versus our competitors
It is important that you talk to many different people and get many different viewpoints. What you are looking for is a pattern that comes across from several non-related sources that become themes. It is this data that you need to assess and evaluate as you look to steer your business forward and become the better tomorrow than you are today!
Donâ€™t let people tell you what they think you want to here DEMAND the truth. Good luck and let me know how it goes.