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What’s your most important asset?
Many executives will say their most important asset is their employees or their products. I would argue that for most companies it’s their customers. Why?
Customers fuel your growth. We know customers provide cash for your products and services, but they also serve as an extension of your employees. When leveraged effectively, your customers allow you to scale through their word-of-mouth. Whether you are B2B or B2C focused, if you aren’t leveraging your customer base as a critical asset then you are probably growing linearly through your employees, and missing out on the hockey-stick. You can’t just scale as effectively without your customers becoming an extension of your sales and marketing engine.
We all know this is true, yet what do we do about it? Often, we sit in our offices and claim that we need to lead our customers. While that may be true it’s missing the point. No one says you should let your customers tell you what to build. But face it – your customers have a pretty good understanding of your marketplace and what they need to be successful. You can influence them, but they will have a picture of what your value proposition is and how you compare to competitive alternatives (and what those alternatives truly are). Most importantly, they can be your evangelists. We all know about the power of word-of-mouth.
So what are you doing to leverage your customers as an asset? Do you hear what they are saying to you? Or do you think you know better than them?