Think Outside In. Be Customer Obsessed.

Jonny Kelly

Jonny Kelly

Creative Director
Strategy, Creative and Curious

9th November 2018Strategy

Sales is a dying art…

..or maybe its just a dying word which has been hijacked and disguised by marketers?

Lets be honest, most people don’t like selling, feeling they’re getting ‘sold to’, or even admitting they’re a sales person. The shame!

Mention targets in a job description and the majority of people born this side of 1990 will recoil in horror.

Ironically, sales has now become too honest a description of how businesses entice customers to buy their products and services. Marketing has effectively eaten its forerunner and now we talk about Value Propositions, Engagement, Experiences, Relationships etc

In part that’s the way it has to be. In a more complex world we need more complex strategies.

But have we lost some of the fundamentals along the way?

Any closet/recovering Sales people reading this will have had it drummed into them that ‘the Customer is always right!’, ‘Customer perception is reality!’ Customers dictated the narrative and the skill of the sales person was to shape the features and benefits of their proposition into it.

Today, even in a ‘digital world’ customers are still dictating the narrative. But only the clever companies are listening and shaping their Value Propositions, Engagement, Experiences and Relationships into it.

What does that mean?

Very simply, it means that too many companies still think from the inside out. (a phenomenon Al Ries and Jack Trout identified in their classic book on Positioning)

Very simply, it means that too many companies still think from the inside out.

They ask the wrong questions first such as:

  • What are we good at?
  • What can we build?
  • What do we think will sell?

Then they polish it up and communicate it to the market with slick messaging and industry speak. Admittedly (but with the most earnest and sincere intentions), we have been guilty of helping clients do that over the years.

But not these days. No!

Now we are enlightened, we have changed, or transformed (to use some en vogue digital terminology).

The change was simple but dramatic. And we ask all of our clients to make it too.

It starts with asking the correct questions first:

  • Who is our customer?
  • What do they want from businesses like us?
  • How do they buy that?
  • How do we shape our business around their behaviour?

Research, Insights and Analytics can provide the answers to those questions in startling detail and with the answers we have a significantly higher chance of selling (there I said it) stuff for our clients and building a successful and profitable relationship.

So what is the thought I would like you to take away from this meandering thought. A thought to help improve your business?


Think from the outside in. Be customer obsessed.

Change starts here

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