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Bring Value Through Customer Focus

2010/09/28

Howard Hyden – Day 1

As many of you may remember, Howard was our keynote speaker at INSPIRE2010. The heart of Howard’s message is looking at your company from the customer’s perspective – “outside in.” After finishing day 1 of Howard Hyden’s customer focus training held at APG Cash Drawer in Minneapolis, the light bulb shone more brightly. What got me this time around was a discussion on the relationship between making a profit and creating value for the customer. Howard challenged us by asking what we thought the primary purpose of a business was. Of course we all answered “to make money!” No brainer – right? So if the company makes more money, what’s in it for me? To my surprise that answer – to make money – was #3 on the list. What could possibly be more important to a company than making money? The answer to that question and the what’s in it for me question was a perspective that I had not really connected before. Here’s how the list played out. Value, Create a Customer, Make Money, Create Jobs, Job Security, and Job Growth. The more value you create for the customer, the more customers you’ll have which leads to making more money, which will create more jobs, which will lead to job security, which will offer job growth.

So what’s in it for me? It boils down to a different perspective – that of the customer. You add value by doing your job well or as Howard says – do an awesome job – which in turn will have a direct contribution to your job security, future raises and job growth. I often hear our members say, I need someone to teach my staff how to ‘sell value’. It’s hard for you or your staff to answer the question, ‘why are you more expensive than the competition’? You feel you’re becoming a commodity. Sound familiar? Howard says, “If you don’t want to compete on price, you must add value.” You see, finding value in your company is not something you can create by snapping your fingers or by creating a new branding or marketing campaign. Value is something home-grown and nurtured within your company culture and the way you do business. It’s the core of what separates you from your competition. The exercises we went through on day one were eye-opening and I’m sure day two’s session will be as well. It’s sessions like this that I hope to be able to bring to all RSPA members.

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