In the B2B arena, our research has shown that organizations can sustain, dominate and become higher earning by leaving customers in the dark and out of the loop as much as possible. Their input, suggestions, and guidance simply add unjustified costs, increases time to market and gets in the way of doing it the way we want to. The only thing you should take from your customer is their money! The End!
APRIL FOOLS!! Learn more about April Fools day pranks!!
Now, back to reality and a true story: One firm ($10+ Billion firm whose 20 biggest customers were 50% of their revenue) I talked with had some very interesting perspectives. The EVP of Product Development shared with me that, “Sean, not only do I know the answers to what the customers are thinking, but I know all their questions. So there is no value in talking with them.” His CEO later told me that flying to meet with these customers was a waste of time, and he refused to do it anymore. He did offer that if they all came to HQ, he would be willing to meet them for lunch or dinner. These are customers who spend from $200- 600 million / year. The nice thing is they were an aligned organization: They all honestly believed that the customer had no value but to buy what they told them to buy.
This firm was bought by a huge firm who is extremely customer centric, forward thinking, best-in-class on revenue and earnings growth…a Wall Street darling due to the year-over-year consistent results. Needless to say, the CEO and Leadership lasted about one week.
And while April Fools is a joke, let’s not turn your business into one.