Choosing The Right Customers

Thursday, October 21, 2010 - Permalink
One of the insights we’ve learned is that picking your customers is as critical as any other element of strategy.  Not all customers are open to a strategic relationship.

At a Strategic Accounts Management Association meeting recently, I presented a paper titled “How Important Is Your Firm to Your Customer?”  The paper suggested a scoring system to determine whether a supplier was important to their customer’s strategy and operations, and also whether a supplier was important to their customer’s own customers, helping them make sales or giving them a competitive edge.  Not every supplier-customer relationship is important in either respect, and even fewer are important along both dimensions.

Picking out the customers that are going to value the relationship is an important first step in getting beyond adversarial relationships.  With scarce resources a reality, there is no use in fighting too many uphill battles.

-Atlee Valentine Pope

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