What We Think Of Our Customers Colors Our Engagement

Someone called seeking coaching on a specific deal.  He had fallen into traps which blinded him in moving forward with a winning strategy.

He started the conversation with, “The key decisionmaker is really a jerk!  He’s power hungry, his people want to do something with us, they’ve presented compelling arguments, but he doesn’t want to go forward…….   They are losing so much opportunity, if they only they would implement our system……”
A few moments later in the conversation, I learned, “…..He’s relatively new in his role, he’s turning everything upside down, his past experience is with our competitor, so he’s looking at bringing them in.  It’s the wrong thing for them, he doesn’t understand, he doesn’t get the path they were on with us……”
After he went through his dump about this “problem customer,” I asked, “Would you feel the same if he felt that way about you and your solutions versus the competitors?”

His immediate response was, “Of course not….., but he doesn’t and he’s really screwing everything up.  No one likes him, he’s just out for himself and is too political…..!”

I must hear variants of this discussion every day.  People who are aligned with us are great customers, people who are aligned with our competitors are jerks, problems,  A**holes, and worse.

To be honest, every once in a while, I fall victim to that thinking–perhaps only for a few minutes, myself.

There are so many problems with this thinking, not just that it’s wrong and unfair, but this type of mindset colors every interaction we have with these people.

As I talked to my friend, I asked, “How do meetings go with him?”
His response was...

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