This article is about a senior vice president at my company, Harris. Normally I wouldn't link to anything about them because their management practicies stink, but Bob Henry is one of the few bright spots. The article contains some good management lessons.
Henry prides himself on the quality of his relationships, which he believes are crucial to success.
"We need to have a commitment to excellence in everything we do, whether that's training, benefits, contract work or creating a growth environment with better communications between employees, managers and customers . . . so everyone knows what we are doing and what we need to do," Henry said.
To sum up his philosophy in two words: customer intimacy.
"To have an excellent relationship with the customer is extremely important to us," he said. "Without customer satisfaction, we have no work. You have to find out what are the customer's problems and how do you solve them. If you do a good job solving that problem, they will look to you for solutions in the future."
Very good points. Too many companies try to sell you things you don't need. Salespeople are trained to put pressure on you and then "ask for the order" repeatedly to close the sale. They should be trained to understand your needs and help you meet them at the lowest possible cost. A good salesperson is more interested in the customer's needs and budget than in their own commission from the sale.