“When will sales pick up? Customers buy our product, promise us the moon for scaling and yet, they do not honour their commitment. “
A founder was lamenting with a very high level of exasperation.
I thought aloud and asked why would a customer stop responding. The founder and his team had been working with customer, supplied the hardware in time. The software worked perfectly , demonstration was done to the full satisfaction, the informatics from the device proved very useful. Overall, it was a euphoric situation for all.
Then what could have gone wrong ?
It appears that after the initial hand-holding, the relationship intensity decreased to a cursory check on the performance of the equipment.
The value proposition of the product and service was to democratise access by de-materialisng and de-monetising the broken parts of end user’s experience in main it seamless for the end user. This meant that the end user could save several trips to access critical and analysed information right from the first point of access.
A closer discussion indicated while technical requirements were well addressed, the operative conditions for the product to meet business objectives was left to customer’s experience and experimentation. The relationship grid was High Trust and Low relevance initially (the product and service potential was assessed but not realized) and then degenerated into manitenance with low relevance. Client faced a wall of unanticipated challenges and did not have the experience or insight to address them.
My advise to the partner was to step up the relationship from low relevance to high relevance so that the maturity shifted from likability to business advisory partnership.
This means collaborating with the client by stepping into their shoes and working out a solution that meets clients business needs. This is a mindset shift – grow yourself by helping your customers grow.
What do you think?