I consider myself a lucky guy, I love to travel and I love to talk and I get to do both in my day job. This means I get to meet a lot of customers in a lot of countries around the world, I’m always briefed by the account teams but I’ve found that the best way for me to understand who I’m talking to, what they care about and how they currently perceive us is to ask three questions.
Here are my three questions, maybe you can try them out the next time you meet a new customer and let me know what answers you get, I’m always fascinated by how people perceive the value of what we do.
Oh and try not to get distracted by the woman that video bombs me 52 seconds in, I think she barely noticed she was on camera 😉
Thanks Matt! This brought me back to my begining in 1997 here.. It was all about Fast, Simple and Reliable! This is a selling tool that is Fast, Simple and Reliable…
You’ve got a few years on me then Tom, I’m coming up on 9 years now
Assuming this was recorded in Dublin at Insight, “the woman” I think is Carolina Van Note, the marketing lead for NetApp for VMWare. I expect she was merely adding her support……..
In which case I should say ‘Thanks for your support Carolina’
These are questions you’ve asked people that already have bought NetApp… in that case I’m missing a fourth question:
What feature/function/benefit would you wish most to have in the future?
It’s sometimes interesting to see the different answers you get from a business guy and a technician…
@iprigger, you’re right that the way I recorded this vBlog was based on questions I typically ask NetApp customers, however I often use the same questions for companies that have bought from other vendors too, Why did you buy from (vendor), why do you continue to buy from (vendor)…you get the idea.
The question you raise here is very good for establishing a future state, teasing out what the customer is hoping to achieve, and with NetApp solutions, it would help us to push their expectations further than maybe they had considered. I would always focus on what the benefit is that the person I’m talking to is hoping to achieve, someone focused on the business should be able to articulate this pretty quickly in which case I can show them how I can help them get to this or exceed it. Someone more technically minded may want to step back to a feature / function discussion, but by asking what the benefit is, you get the chance to keep lifting the discussion up from specific features they think they may want, to the features that actually enable the benefit that they are trying to deliver.
Hi Matt – great stuff and very relevant and powerful questions … What’s your 3 questions to a customer who is not a NetApp customer yet ?
@Thomas, I actually only change the questions very slightly, I know they’re using someone’s storage, so during our discussion I would weave in “do you mind sharing with me why you bought (vendor x) technology?’, ‘there are a lot of choices available to you, do you mind telling me why you continue to buy from (vendor x)?’ and ‘what’s the value they add to your business?’
In my experience people are usually fairly comfortable to share this kind of information, and it usually gives me enough to work out how to best position the relevant value to them of what we do.