Instinct to Insight - Unlock your potential


Why would a business banker want to talk to their customer's sales director? Why the distribution guy? Why the marketing person?

Well, it's all about moving from operating instinctively to operating with insight.

Many sales people instinctively go about their business, but the high performers operate with insight consciously. They understand what insight they need, they plan their approach to uncover the insight and they use the insight to develop proactive initiatives that deliver value to their organisation and their customer.

Here's an example of why...
This highly successful banker, working for one of the big-four, was presented with some ideas on how broader and deeper insight would drive his performance to the next level. Of course, he was skeptical, he knew everything there was to know about the dozen or so customers he managed. He had achieved good growth for the past 2 years.

As he was presented with this new way of thinking he suddenly got it, he realised that knowing just the stuff about the finance and banking issues of his customers was more of a ticket to the game but not a game changer.

So, he went on a journey to broaden and deepen his insight. He framed up new conversations with one of his key customers to start his journey to deliver real value to them. He found ways to engage with the key stakeholders across the customer's organisation. And what he found out about the customer was astounding, the customer also discovered new things about the bank.

The banker suddenly had cracked the code; he knew not only the what the customer was doing and planning to do, he discovered how they were planning to do it, and why it was important to the customer. Uncovering the motivations of the key stakeholders across the customer's business changed everything. From that point forward everything the stakeholders spoke about make perfect sense it answered many unanswered questions for the banker.

The clarity was exciting then things started to happen, new opportunities started to emerge.

One new opportunity was uncovered and won through this new clarity - a $50m deal. A deal the customer would not have discussed with the bank in the past (not realising the bank could or would assist), a deal the banker only worked out after conversations with the operations part of the customer's business.  A couple of months later the banker snagged another deal with the same customer for a further $20m.

Was he lucky? Or was moving from operating with instinct to operating with insight the key to his success?

This banker now leads a large national team and is driving growth through his insightful approach to customers and the market.

In summary, ask yourself a couple questions:

  • When you believe you understand your customer's business, is this a broad or narrow view?

  • If you could extend the breadth and depth of your customer insight, what would the likely impact be on your business and on theirs?

Tips from John Buchanan, Beyond 19, Coaching Practicing Lead:

  1. Simon Sinek says "People do not buy what you do, they buy why you do it". Understanding the fundamental purpose of your business allows for connection to customers beyond the superficial.

  2. Intuition is important. Intuition + customer data is critical. Intuition + customer data + fundamental relationship is long lasting.

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