I just finished reading an interesting piece by analyst Michael Maoz of Gartner Research, entitled “All a CIO needs to know about CRM was said already by the Dalai Lama.” The title of this article caught me first, and then I was fairly captivated by its message. First we are introduced to the idea that we simply cannot control all the variables or conditions in the world. This message by the Dalai Lama is critical to so many industries and spaces in and outside of the business world. Yet, how often do those in CRM forget this?
The reality is that within the current environment, there is often a general fear of change and lack of change management. Why? Generally people are unprepared for it, even when they know it’s coming. So how do we prepare for the inevitable? We can’t always do this perfectly, but we can begin to prepare by getting to know the voice and face of an organization or customer and understand how they work, interact, and who they partner with. Businesses grow and decline, they succeed and they fail. But they rarely do this without warning or without a few clues. So your job is to be in tune with changes and aware of a customer’s hesitations.
That brings us nicely to a second piece of advice that the Dalai Lama has delivered is that “everything rests on the tip of motivation” and that “the true value of an action is not measured by whether it is successful, but in the motivation behind it.” How often do we lose sight of our vendor’s motivations? As the author suggested in this piece, it is not difficult to assess a vendor’s motivations within an hour or two of working with them. So be careful to assess their cues.
Are they being candid with you about their motivation?
Do you understand exactly what they’re looking for as vendors?
What is their vision and how do you factor into it?
Since relationship management is truly about understanding customer motivation, you will find value in getting better at reading these cues. As a project leader in this industry, you know that your motivation is not to reward or not reward a particular customer, but instead to better understand the needs of your customers and develop a particular process and environment to best suit their needs.
The article does an interesting job of articulating just how important it is to be in tune with both the motivation of your customers, and to understand just how crucial it is that we understand that we simply cannot control every variable in this industry. Understand the motivation of your customers and you’ll be better equipped to change. There is much to learn from the Dalai Lama in business and outside of it. He has an extraordinary strength and strong words of wisdom. So keep in mind that the rules of business may change, but that there will always be a place for the grace and understanding of those who have insight into challenges far greater than ours. Begin to connect with your customers and you’ll begin to see extraordinary results.
Michael is the Lead Author & Editor of CRMSimplified Blog. Michael established the CRM blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to CRM.