Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Akamai Has It Right! Engage Customers In A Different Conversation

I've been fascinated by Paul Sagan's interview in Network World. I've written many times about how sales people need to go to customers and ask "How can we help?" We need to engage customers in a different conversation.

Akamai is engaging it's customers in these new conversations. Sagan "want his sales team to spend more time with customers." They are continuing to be aggressive in finding new business, but the have also "upped the expectation for how often we're going to touch the customer and talk to them.....understand what's going on in their business, what's their pain point and can we help with it."

In a time when many organizations are cutting back and reducing customer contact, Akamai is doing exactly the opposite--and guess what, they'll win. Don't use cutbacks and layoffs as an excuse to abandon customers. Keep the dialog going, learn what they are doing, be creative with them in finding ways you might solve their problems. Even if they are not buying now, they will be. If you aren't talking to them frequently, you won't be there when they do buy.

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