I often ask both manufacturers and integrators alike "How do you go about recommending solutions for your customers, and what steps do you take to ensure that your recommendations are truly the best for them?".
The answer I typically receive is "We don't!".
They then explain very sensibly, the importance of leaving those decisions to the customer primarily because “we want to avoid any responsibility for it – we don’t want to ‘own’ it.”
My reply…Why not?
Our company is one that prides itself on being more than a “solutions provider” (which for many is code for ‘Let me convince you that what I am selling today is what’s best for you, but after you buy it, it’s your problem.’).
We have always asked to be a partner.
Still, in this industry, the term ‘partner’ has become a relatively over-used, feel-good term used by many in our industry, but lacking any real relevance.
So how do we pierce through the salesy fodder of company mission statements, sales pitches, and marketing about solutions providers and partners?
We move our focus towards vendors striving to make an ‘Impact.’
Making an impact requires more than talking points; it demands an investment. And everyone knows, any worthwhile investment requires shared ‘ownership.’
If a vendor isn’t prepared to invest in you, the customer, to the point of owning the solution alongside you versus prepping to abandon you post-sale, I’d suggest you find a new vendor.
Discerning between those vendors who are devoted to betterment through impactful solutions, versus those who aren’t, is immediately apparent when based upon their ability to offer genuine experiences, both good and bad.
These experiences then help the customer determine solutions offering the greatest impact on their organizations.
For us, we focus on the impact, even to the point of suggesting a solution which is of no benefit to us.
The goal of empowering our clients through knowledge, training, support, etc. not only helps them make an impact, but impacts those around them, which impacts those around them, and on and on …. make sense?
If we help even one person increase efficiency on their manufacturing line, that increased efficiency results in more production.
More production = more jobs.
More jobs = greater wealth.
Greater wealth = wealth for the community = better communities = better schools = better education = better businesses = better hospitals = better parks = better lifestyles…
If this seems farfetched, please leave a comment stating that, so those of us who see this as nothing new for companies who care about their clients can stay clear.
I for one prefer to stick close with those who care about making an impact! ;o)
Prov 11:25 – “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”