In this Expert Insight Interview, Jermain Edwards discusses customer leadership and why customers need leadership instead of management. Jermain Edwards helps enable customer leaders and key account teams to create recurring revenue, relationship growth and retention results they can trust with their most important customers.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- Customer management vs customer leadership
- Why a shift in semantics can be a crucial step to shifting your mindset
- Establishing a relationship of trust
When most people land a customer, they immediately want to get into a customer management process or a customer success process, and most companies do it the same way. Jermain, however, says that this is not the way to go and that salespeople need to provide leadership to their customers.
According to him, there is an old-fashioned approach to management still used today that focuses on managing a series of interactions that people hope to go in their favor without any intentional work being done to inspire, provide insight and learn the trust and recognition of the clients that they work with.
Helping customers shape the future they want to create is not a management activity but a leadership one. This may sound like a play on semantics, but the shift in language is a critical reference point to speaking with our teams regarding how they approach their work with clients.
You should not think of yourself as a customer manager, but as a customer leader, because your customers are coming to you with a specific reason, which is to give them guided and appropriate advice to help them navigate uncertainty and provide them with a particular result.
This shift in mindset allows us to think about what leadership looks like to us. Most likely, it entails an entirely different set of activities to management. To become a customer leader rather than a customer manager, you have to establish a good relationship with your customers.
Building trust is critical to lay the foundation and be able to assume a leadership position in the first place.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.