7 Conversations That Will Change Your Working Life
As you read this, you are seven conversations away from higher revenue - and making The Shift to customer-centricity. Take it from someone who has "been there, done that" - Dan Fylstra, CEO of Frontline Systems, who writes:
"What's it like to have Kristin Zhivago as a revenue coach? I think our return in incremental revenue from implementing the changes resulting from her work was probably 50x -100x her consulting fees, and would have been more if we had acted on them sooner. But even more valuable was the change of thinking that working with Kristin induced in me and my key people. It was a shift from a customer-centric view in theory to a much more reality-based, customer-centric approach in practice. Like the credit card commercials, that part has been 'priceless.'" - Daniel Fylstra, CEO of Frontline Systems
I'm putting this admittedly horn-tooting quote in the Revenue Journal for one reason: to help you realize that you are seven conversations away from making The Shift from a "customer-centric view in theory" to a "much more reality-based, customer-centric approach in practice." Which, as Dan says, is "priceless." (By the way, Dan is defined in the Wikipedia as "a pioneer of the software products industry...founding associate of Byte magazine...co-founder of Personal Software...which became the distributor of VisiCalc, the first widely used spreadsheet." I have a lot of respect for Dan and all he's done.)
Everything you need to accomplish this "priceless" state, yourself, is available to you, right now.
Living in the customer's world
It has become common wisdom among company leaders now that they must be living in their customer's reality instead of their own - that customers are in control of the buying process, and they have countless choices. If you're not making it easy for them to choose you, they're gone - forever.
So the real problem is, how do you get everyone in your company to start living in your customer's reality? The answer is thoroughly described in my book: You interview, by phone, at least seven customers who have already bought from you. Then you ACT on what they tell you.
Doing so ensures that you are there for your future customers, at every single step of their buying process, with every single thing they need, so they are most likely to buy from you. You make sure that your products, processes, people, policies, and services are designed and implemented in a way that meets customers where they are. As Zack Heller says in a recent review of the book:
Lead the way and adopt your business to the way the world is heading, and you'll find consumers waiting there for you. Roadmap to Revenue will give you the inspiration you need to start that journey.
It seems deceptively simple. But it does require humility, courage, and the ability to act on what you learn. As Dan also wrote, in his review of Roadmap to Revenue:
Of course this is not a magic elixir -- the hard part is figuring out exactly how you are going to address the weak points in your product/service and processes that customers have told you about in the interviews, and then actually implement the changes you need to make. While, if you make what she calls "The Shift," you probably will see a significant increase in revenue, this is not a one-time event but an ongoing process.
But this is the real deal, applicable to just about any business with customers -- it is definitely NOT "yet another marketing strategy book" to read and then place on the bookshelf, or at the back of the e-reader. If, like me, you're running a business and you have so much to do that you must ruthlessly prioritize your time and attention, you would do well to force this book to the top of your list, read it of course, but then ACT on it.
You can't afford not to do this. Not now. As Steve O'Keefe said in the article he wrote about the method:
You can't reason through this yourself - bright as you are, with all your experience running your own company for many years. The only one who knows what it's like to be a customer of yours is a customer.
Obviously, a key role I play as a revenue coach is to help companies "address the weak points in your product/service and processes," but I also tell you how to do that, working with your team, in the book.
If you're a marketer, you will not BELIEVE what happens to your career after you make those seven magic phone calls, and you start leading your company in a new, customer-pleasing direction. You will gain a level of confidence and certitude that you never experienced before. People in your company will respect you more than you never thought possible. I've helped thousands of marketers discover this for themselves.
As a CEO, entrepreneur, or marketer, you are literally 7 conversations away from a new, customer-centric working life - and sure-fire ways to bring more revenue into your company.