In his book It Takes a Prophet to Make a Profit consultant Britt Beemer states, “Today’s consumer is empowered to make better-informed buying decisions. Never before have there been so many buying options. Throw in dwindling discretionary time, and the result is an intelligent and demanding consumer. So while the competition pushes to revise and redo its marketing strategies, the consumer is also screaming for change.”
So, we’re pushed on both ends. Consumers and our competitors are forcing us to change. We’re in the hot seat. Everything from product development to distribution to retail channel is changing and the pressure to move and change is coming from all directions (including the front office). Many executives are reaching for the panic button.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
The right thing to do to keep pace is to listen. I know it doesn’t sound aggressive, but your employees and your customers will tell you what you need, where you need to change and how to do it. Do you know that most times the answers to your organization’s most troubling problems are in your employee’s heads? The people on the shop floor, in the office or on the sales floor are close to the action and have the answers. Just ask them – and listen!
Likewise, your customers know what they want. They know how much they can spend for what you have and they know how they want it delivered (or where they want to buy it). All you need to do is ask them – and listen!
So, to keep pace, step back. Go into listening mode and ask your employees and your customers to help you. The exercise will get you closer to the heart of the matter.