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SALES EXCELLENCE 4/2023 - New mindset – How the customer becomes a partner

Dr. Johannes Ihringer
Dr. Johannes Ihringer

The current economic situation in 2023 is uncertain, and companies must be flexible enough to adapt to the changes that may come. Recession or boom? Will there be geopolitical events that could affect businesses? Companies must be prepared for all these eventualities. Sales organizations have been affected by this lack of predictability, as they have had to deal with changing circumstances and market demands. It is not uncommon for them to face situations where they have to rethink how to sell their products or services when demand has plummeted.

Fair Process is a principle that can be used to create a new kind of collaboration between sales teams and their customers. This principle can be seen as a lever to generate better results than the competition over the long term. The following four points are crucial to creating a sales approach that takes into account the Fair Process principle:

1. Changing the sales mindset – customers are partners

Customer Centricity has been the main focus for many sales departments. It is crucial to think from the perspective of the customer, but this mindset must now be expanded. Customers should not just be viewed as buyers but as partners. In this new world of uncertainty, it is essential to recognize that customers are a valuable asset and it is essential to build long-term relationships with them. This means that sales teams must be willing to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances. It also means that they must be willing to work with customers to find solutions that work for both parties.

2. Fair pricing

Pricing has always been a critical aspect of sales, but in this new environment, it is even more important. As demand and supply shift rapidly, it is vital to find a balance between a fair price and the company's bottom line. Sales teams must think carefully about how much to increase prices and when to do so. They must also consider the long-term implications of price increases on their relationships with their customers. Fair pricing is key to building trust with customers and building long-term partnerships.

3. Transparency and communication

Transparency and communication are critical components of Fair Process. It is essential to be transparent with customers about what the company can and cannot do. Sales teams must be open and honest about the challenges they face, the products or services they offer, and the prices they charge. They must also be willing to listen to their customers and work with them to find solutions that work for both parties. Clear and open communication is key to building trust with customers and creating long-term partnerships.

4. Collaboration and problem-solving

Sales teams must be willing to collaborate with their customers to find solutions that work for both parties. They must be willing to work together to solve problems and find ways to improve the customer experience. Collaboration is key to building long-term partnerships and creating a culture of problem-solving.

In conclusion, the concept of Fair Process is critical to building a new kind of relationship between sales teams and their customers. In this new world of uncertainty, companies must be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances and build long-term partnerships with their customers. This means changing the sales mindset to view customers as partners, fair pricing, transparency and communication, and collaboration and problem-solving. By adopting these principles, sales teams can build trust with customers, create long-term partnerships, and generate better results than the competition over the long term.

The full article by Dr. Johannes Ihringer appeared in the "Sales Excellence 4/2023" in April 2023.

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