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Customers Profile Sellers as TRADERS, SAVERS, or INVESTORS

Like it or not, you are being profiled by your customers.  Every interaction refines your seller profile, thereby improving its value to your customers.   As a buy-side executive, I can confirm that many customer CXOs deploy an informal classifying system to profile sales and account professionals assigned to their company.  Personally, I did it to avoid low-value interactions with low-value sellers and I know that many of my executive colleagues used the same classifying system as I did.

Customer executives make snap judgments of your latent value as a Business Advisor in order to maximize their personal ROI from investing in a business relationship with you.  So it shouldn’t be surprising to know that your personal seller profile can negatively impact the quality of your customer relationship.

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Know Thy Customer ~ Unknow Thyself

President Abraham Lincoln was a masterful communicator.  What was his secret?  It was his ability to prepare what he was going to say by thinking like the audience he was going to address.  Mr. Lincoln was known to have said, “When I get ready to talk to people, I spend two-thirds of the time thinking what they want to hear and one-third of the time thinking about what I want to say.”  Interestingly, President Lincoln spent no time thinking about himself.

There is an important lesson here for B2B marketers, especially those selling at the executive-level.  President Lincoln, arguably one of the best message developers and deliverers of all time, purposely allotted the majority of preparation time to deepening his understanding of the audience (i.e. “customer acumen”) and the remainder of time to crafting a powerful tailored and aligned message (i.e. “solution impact”).

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