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What the Customer Wants You to Know: How Everybody Needs to Think Differently About Sales
From the bestselling author of What the CEO Wants You to Know?how to rethink sales from the outside in
?We have to face the truth: the process of selling is broken. Customers have more choices and are under intense pressure. Yet few companies are facing this reality. When they don?t, a lingering malaise sets in.?
More than ever these days, the sales process tends to be a war about price?a frustrating, unpleasant war that takes all the fun out of selling.
But there?s a better way to think about sales, says bestselling author Ram Charan, who is famous for clarifying and simplifying difficult business problems. What the customer wants you to know is how his or her business works, so you can help make it work better. It sounds simple, but there?s a catch: you won?t be able to do that with your traditional sales approach.
Instead of starting with your product or service, start with your customer?s problems. Focus on becoming your customer?s trusted partner, someone he can turn to for creative, cost-effective solutions that are based on your deep knowledge of his values, goals, problems, and customers.
This book defines a new approach to selling?which Charan calls value creation selling?that while radical is nonetheless practical. VCS has been battle-tested in companies in a variety of industries, such as Unifi, Mead-Westvaco, and Thomson Financial. It will enable you to:
? Gain a deeper knowledge of your customer?s problems
? Understand how your customer?s company really makes decisions
? Help your customer improve margins and drive revenue growth
? Connect sales with other key functions such as finance and manufacturing
? Come up with new customized offerings
? Make price much less of an issue
VCS gets you out of the hell of commoditization and low prices. It differentiates you from the competition, paving the way to better pricing, better margins, and higher revenue growth, built on win-win relationships that deepen over time.
Someday, every company will listen more closely to the customer, and every manager will realize that sales is everyone?s business, not just the sales department?s. In the meantime, this eye-opening book will show you how to get started.
Your customer wants strategic value not commodities
By Craig Matteson
- January 19, 2008
I really enjoyed this book on sales. It is a topic with forests of books in print. Many cover the same core principles, while others have found ways of putting swamp gas in print. This is one of those that has something good to say and does it concisely.
We have all heard and experienced the vastly increased competition, the compressed product life cycles, the adoption and dismissal of business strategy fads, and much more. Here Ram Charan introduces his idea about the Value Account Plan and not trying to compete on lower prices and thinner margins.
The idea is to get to know your customer intimately. You have to use everyone in your organization and gather everything anyone knows about your customers. What does their org chart and reporting structure look like? How do they make decisions? Who are the strategic decision makers? What are their key concerns? There is obviously much more to know and the point is to gather it all, put it together and the... read more
Nothing New Here.
By Chris Reich "Business Physicist and Astronomer"
- February 3, 2008
This book could have been written 10-15 years ago. In one sentence: protect margin by adding value through service. That's it. The material is so basic and repetitious that I found it very tedious to just finish reading the book in hopes of learning something.
If you want easy to read business books with current thinking, take a look at Seth Godin's collection of offerings.
Regrettably, many books are now being hyped by a "system". Authors have a few friends post rave reviews to pump duds. This is one of them.
How Value Creation Can Transform the Selling Process
By Robert Morris
- December 26, 2007
In all of his previous books (notably Execution co-authored with Larry Bossidy and then Know-How), Ram Charan focuses his attention on how to achieve and then sustain superior organizational performance. Another earlier work, What the CEO Wants You to Know, is an excellent companion for What the Customer Wants You to Know because it helps those in sales - as well as those who supervise them -- to understand the customer's business more broadly. In fact, the inspiration for the Customer book came from the CEO book. Charan explains in it why traditional sales approaches are unable to satisfy what customers want salespeople to know: How their business works and how they can make it work better. "The heart of the new approach to selling is an intense focus on the prosperity of your customers." Value Creation Selling (VCS) is the foundation of what Charan recommends.
He notes that VCS is "sweepingly different from how most companies sell today in these five ways: "First, you as... read more
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