James Alexander

Seriously Selling to the C-Suite

Only attempt C-level selling when you have competent, credible people armed with unique, value-creating information. Otherwise, stay home. The buyers of services and complex solutions are seldom the same individuals who purchase products. Usually at least one level, and often several levels, above the normal...

Everybody Sells Services

Relying entirely on the product sales force to drive services is not a good idea. Involving your frontline services pros can kickstart seriously selling services. Everybody Sells Everything The title of this article, "Everybody Sells Services," is a vital component of selling and delivering solutions.…

Brilliant Strategy: 4 Paths to Greatness – Part 2

No matter how talented your organization is, if you don’t have the right strategy, you’ll always suffer spotty customer satisfaction, fight problems with morale, and have to live with sub-par performance. My earlier article discussed: The four types of suppliers. The four value potentials. The…

Brilliant Strategy: 4 Paths to Greatness – Part 1

No matter how talented your organization is, if you don’t have the right strategy, you’ll always suffer spotty customer satisfaction, fight problems with morale, and have to live with sub-par performance. This two-part article will help you shape your strategy by better understanding how the...

Services Pro 3.0: The New Corporate Rock Star

Once upon a time...suppliers worshipped their products above all else. Every day...sellers pushed their boxes and gave away services to get the deal. One day...the buyers’ world got more complex, sophisticated, and risky. Because of that...buyers re-prioritized the value in what they bought. Because of…

Services and Strategy: Why Sell Services?

Leading field services in a product company is not for the weak of heart. You must deal with executives who feel that products are the only ingredient in the recipe to organization success and that services are a bothersome, necessary seasoning like garlic in...

Seriously Selling Success: The Evolution of Influence

Is your win rate slower and lower? Is your profitability slipping and dipping? Like an old bull limping through the pasture, it could be that your selling approach once tried-and-true is now out of date and just tired and through. Figure 1 shows the evolution…

Moron Management: Is Your Boss a Dolt?

Really good leaders are tough to find—type in “leadership” on Amazon’s website and 195,206 books pop up. Obviously, with all that written (and more leadership books being introduced daily), no one has yet broken the code on how to find or groom or train...

Brilliant Time Management Practice: Just Say No

The natural tendency of anyone brought up in the services industry is to say yes. Yes, to helping a customer out with something “just a little” beyond scope. Yes, to meeting marketing’s seemingly endless requests for reference account examples. And yes, to bailing a...

Brilliant CS: Pitfalls on the Path to Performance

Most of us are addicted to best practices as guidelines as to how to best turn the crank on the customer success engine. I agree and approve (eat my own dog food). However, from an organizational learning perspective, you will speed your own success by...

Customer Success: The Lost Opportunity

Like driving a high-performance powerboat at idle speed, many organizations only creep along when it comes to piloting customer success—limiting speed, minimizing power, and reducing the chance of feeling the breeze of the winning checkered flag in an offshore competition. Tactical Customer Success What do…

Brilliant Leadership: The Need for Speed

“Looking back over my career, I have never made a tough change that I haven’t wished I had made a year or so earlier.” This confession* comes from Andrew Grove, former chairman of Intel and a person who had faced a tough problem or...

Brilliant CX Tool: Harnessing Hassle

How easy is your company to do business with? Super easy? Crazy hard? Here is a simple, yet powerful tool to find the answer, The Hassle Meter.

You Know You Have Trust When…

Indicators of High Trust So how do you know you have achieved high levels of customer trust? What are the indicators? Here are three: 1. Customers or prospective customers ask for you by name. Customer: “OK, Mr. Salesperson. I will sign the contract on one…

Brilliant Customer Success: Categorize to Prioritize

It is nice to proclaim that you are dedicated to delivering customer success to all customers. However, if your resources are limited (aren’t they always?), the reality is you can’t do it today and you probably won’t be able to do it tomorrow. Maybe...

Brilliant Influencing: Customer Success

How do your customers really define success? As good corporate citizens, I’ll wager they want to help their organizations address its critical issues, be they improving quality or speeding production or lowering costs or whatever the desired business outcomes. When analyzing choices to deliver on...

Brilliant CX: Turning Customers into Champions

Looking to create customer loyalty? Determine potentials, ignore non-essentials, and then treat your best like royalty. Champions are those influential people in your marketplace that actively recommend and promote you and your organization without being asked. Champions believe in you and your organization so much...

From Customer “Happy Talk” to Customer Success

Customer success is hot…it is spreading faster than cute puppy videos on YouTube. But just what is it? What’s in it for your organization? What’s in it for you? Customer success is an organizational strategy and philosophy based upon a simple, straightforward concept: “For us…

Brilliant Influencing: Sell How the Customer Wants to Buy

Smart organizations, and the best salespeople who work for them, determine their approach to selling based upon their prospects’ and customers’ approach to buying. Sounds simple, but I’m always amazed at the number of organizations and sellers that define their selling process based upon...

Building Trust Worst Practice: Under-Promise and Over-Deliver

The concept of under-promise and over-deliver sounds sexy, but if followed, it lowers your reliability (a key trust builder) in the customer’s eyes. For example, let’s say that you have told the customer that you will have his requested analysis to him in seven...

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