Customer Intimacy:

Sales Success

Coach Your Customers

Guiding Your Customers Toward Better Results

By: Vadim Kotelnikov

"Customers grow ever more demanding, and suppliers must change just to keep up." ~ Fred Wiersema

Customer Intimacy Customer Partnership Coaching Customers Tailoring Outside-In Company Customer Intimacy: Customer Partnership, Coaching Customers, Tailoring

Three Models of Customer Coaching1

  1. Bringing Out The Product's Full Benefits: educating customers about all the potential uses and applications of the product.

  2. Shaping Up the Customer's Usage Process: helping customers change their business processes.

  3. Breaking New Ground With the Customer: assisting your customers into new business ventures, thereby enlarging your own market.

Listening To Your Customers

Coaching: Ask-Tell Repertoire

Training and coaching creates a bond with customers. It helps you learn know how your product is used and whether there is any problem with it.

 Case in Point  Dell Inc.

"Our early Internet business was primarily consumer- and small business-oriented because for many of those customers, purchasing online was a natural next step after getting product information and price quotation online," writes Michael Dell2, Founder of Dell Inc.

"Convincing corporate accounts to buy online, however, was much more difficult. They felt we were asking them to radically change the way they purchased. Many of our large customers have deeply ingrained purchasing systems, and they didn't know how they could exchange information between those systems and the Internet. Some were concerned about the security of their information online. And for still others, the act of deciding what to buy and the decision to actually buy it are two different events, often handled by at least two different people or departments.  we solved the problem by creating a purchasing process that allowed the two events to be handled separately."

"Driving change in your own organization is hard enough; driving change in other organizations is nearly impossible. But I believed and still believe that the Internet would become as pervasive and invaluable as the telephone. We knew it was too important to our business - and potentially, to our customers' business to wait for them to figure it out for themselves. So we assumed the responsibility of educating our customers on the basic benefits of doing things electronically."

"Our account reps were our educating mechanism. They asked customers, "How are you doing business with Dell today?" The message we needed to get across was that ordering online simplifies things: There's less chance for error in making an order and a better means of tracking it. Ordering online is more efficient because it funnels the same information through one route rather than three. That one route is a customized page on our website called "Dell Premier Pages."2



  1. Customer Intimacy, Fred Wiersema

  2. Direct from Dell, Michael Dell with Catherine Fredman