In the Business of Customer Growth

If you help your customers’ business grow, your business will also grow. This is a time tested mantra for sustainable business growth. While nobody will disagree with this statement, it is seen quite often that people do not follow this mantra. There is a possibility that most people do not know how to systematically do this and this blog is an attempt to share the approach that you may find useful. This approach is also taught as part of the program “In the Business of Customer Growth” (BCG) of Crossover Leadership Journeys.
Flexing Style
The BCG program starts with the thirty year old psychometric assessment “DISC for Sales” to understand why working with some customers is easier than others. Participants learn how to flex their style to build relationships using their personalized report on the four dimensions viz. Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness.
This is followed by a one-one debrief to deep dive into what each dimension of DISC means while working with customers. With the support from a certified coach, they prepare a ‘Personal Action Plan’ on how to build trust, relationship and reposition or rephrase the typical delivery to be more compatible with customers’ style for business growth.
Emotional Intelligence and Change as an opportunity for Growth
They then understand the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EI) and how to manage emotions while working with customers especially in difficult situations that can help build long term deep relationships. Change is the only constant and it has become even more prominent with COVID-19. They learn to comprehend the emotional response to change and transitions which will help them become subtler in recognizing how their teams experience change and using the research of William Bridge on the various stages of change, they learn to systematically handle change. Finally, they build a mindset to see every change as an opportunity for growth.
Customer Centricity and Building Customer Centric Teams
They then learn about ‘Customer Centricity’ and get to a common understanding of what it means to be customer centric and the various elements of customer centricity. They are introduced to Social Styles and how they can flex their styles according to customers’ style and how the social styles are linked to the DISC model from their assessment done earlier. They also explore the framework SAKE (Skills + Attitude + Knowledge + Experience = Customer Delight). Leaders cannot grow the business themselves and will need to develop their teams as well to support them grow the business. They learn about their leadership style and how to flex their style to suit their reportees while working with customers to give a connected experience to the customer. They also learn about the concepts of ‘Performance Potential’ to identify the development areas that will enhance customer centricity as a collective team.
Consultative Mindset and Skill Set
Customers always like to listen to innovative ways of solving their problems and to do that they learn ‘Consultative Mindset and Skillet’. They learn the difference between consultative and transactional approaches, how to demonstrate value to clients using consultative strategies and creating value using conversations and data stories. They also learn to become organized in order to meet the growth and the concept of ‘Focus Funnel’ helps them maximize time on value creation for clients. They learn to use the concept of master journal and weekly journal to not miss on important tasks and get things done with categorization. Focus on results that matter to the customer and not activities that are reported to the customer with efficiency and effectiveness together.
Influencing and Negotiation Skills
They then move on to building their Influencing Skills both at individual level with customers and at group level with various stakeholders on the customer side. The two frameworks they explore are ‘Six Principles by Robert Cialdini’ and ‘Diffusion of Innovation’ by Everett Rogers. Usually most people associate negotiation with sales and price or win or lose but in the BCG program they get introduced to a new perspective on negotiation. They learn how negotiation can be facilitated where both parties get what they want by exploring the motives and keep the conversation going using various techniques till they reach an amicable solution.
Becoming a Talent Multiplier
One needs to continuously grow talent to meet the growth with the customer. They learn to unleash their own leadership dimension to attract talent who would love to work in an engaging and inspiring environment by Becoming a Talent Multiplier that can serve existing and new customers for rapid business growth, help team members take pride in themselves and build alignment with organizational goals. In the final phase of the BCG journey they learn ‘Inspiring Career Conversations,’ to demonstrate Leadership commitment to their team member’s career development and help them develop themselves keeping the customer centricity as their central focus. Recognize their role in career growth of their team members and help them plan a career strategy and achieve their long-term career aspirations.
Final Thoughts
We are confident that this 6 months Business of Customer Growth (BCG) journey will help them build the required Mind-set and Skill Set to not only grow the business but create a sustainable growth model along with their respective teams.

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