Where does your paycheck come from?
My early entrepreneurial training came from Herb Karr. He was the founder of California Analysis Centers, Incorporated, (CACI) the company that hired me for my first real (not camp counselor, restaurant hostess, bus driver) job.
Herb grew his organization to be an entrepreneurial one and he published some tenants in “Herb’s Homilies”. They were all gems, but the one that sticks with me is “know where your paycheck comes from”.
What he was saying is know you’re customer, understand your customer’s needs and take your customer’s buying process as gospel. He wanted us to bounce ideas off our clients and identify what their pain points were. It became natural to actively listen to their problem and then to identify the solutions we had in our pack. The worst mistake was when one of us pushed our solution without checking for the pain points of the prospective buyer. Educating a customer can be brutal – Herb wanted us to solve real problems.
So, here are two checks –
Have you ever underestimated your customer’s intent to buy or procurement processes? That’s when someone says they’ll buy, but need to go through a bid or approval process. Counting a sale before all the hurdles have been cleared is a mistake.
Have you ever made assumptions of customer needs? This can result in killing a deal by oversupplying or complicating a solution.
The paycheck comes as a result of customer satisfaction. These are things to remember as you build your company and culture for your employees.
Ben Franklin TechCelerator @Carlisle