…if you don’t do the right thing for your customers. In reading a dear friend’s blog today about being sticky, Andy mentioned repeatedly that the key to success in small business is actually about putting the client’s interest first. Check out this wisdom where Andy writes:
Well you don’t become a trusted advisor overnight, or by taking some test or training course. You become a trusted advisor over time by giving great advice and putting the client’s business needs before your own needs. Don’t lock them into some product or service just for the lock-in value. Lock them into trusting you by always putting their problems and needs ahead of yours. Don’t be afraid to sell them what they need instead of what they want.
So what does this have to do with the SBSC logo? A lot!. Many of us are counting on the Microsoft LED team to rally the allies in the battle for desktops and SaaS in SMB. A good part of Microsoft’s ROI will come down to how well the allies and SBSC partners not only execute on the opportunities, but also what kind lasting impression and experience the prospective business get from their emersion in our unified small business solution selling events and messages. Will the collaborated events be like Amway sales meeting (where you meet a nice couple at church and they invite you over for dinner in hopes of building a downline from your relatives and all the other unsuspecting guests in the house) or will prospective customers feel nurtured, informed and genuinely cared about on the drive home or after the first sale?
Some may argue, but I truly believe that our success (and Microsoft’s success) in this space is not going to be based on Eric’s well oiled marketing machine, the great ready to go campaigns available on the partner site, the new exam structure, the amazing Infopath driven sales tools MS keeps pushing our way or even the stickness of the solutions we provide. In small business, our long term success depends on our customers trusting us to do the right thing each and every time. Sometimes that means telling them no or sending them to your competition (yes we setup some g-mails for a client this week). Small business owners are desperate for somebody to trust and equally confused about all the technical choices before them. We have a chance each and every day to do the right thing for then and ultimately ourselves by doing so.
Today after sitting down with a managed customer and agreeing with them that it was time for them to find another provider I did the best thing I could do for myself and my future. I drove to three other clients offices in a row and dropped in for absolutely no other reason than to say hi. If felt great and they appreciated the thought.
What do you do for your customers that shows you can be trusted to the right then for them over own self interests?