Let Customers Shape Profitable Products

From the Center for Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly supplement to Applying Strategic Relations, mailed at your request

  1. Forward
  2. In the News
    1. Share of Customer Builds Stronger Companies
    2. Use Outside Influences to Shape Your Products
    3. Where Wealth Builders Go For Customers
  3. Strategic Relations Tip for Today
    Discuss Project Challenges in Periodic Meetings
  4. Shameless Self Promotion


In this issue, you will learn about selecting the right customers, focus on relationship growth, and develop products they desire. It is not enough to have products to offer, but you must have customer buy at a profit.

No company can read minds, if you want to serve your customers needs, you will need to hunt out these buyers and ask them what they want. This is why I ask you, what limiting your ability to meet key business objectives?

Let me know what challenges you face in business, and get a special report, plus I will use your comments to shape the content of this newsletter. Just reply to this newsletter and include the word "feedback" in the subject.


Justin Hitt
Strategic Relations Consultant, Author & Speaker

In the News

Share of Customer Builds Stronger Companies

When you understand your customer, you can develop products they will buy, instead of developing products you think they need. In this strategy of customer share marketing you create a customer relationship first, then create product that solves the problems they face.

In traditional business, often a company develops a product then goes into production before performing any market tests. Successful companies who are interested in building strategic relationships actually identify and literally sell the product before it is completely developed.

How can you do this? Simply understand the needs and desires of a definable cluster of customers large enough to be profitable to deliver a product or service. While this is a complex description, it covers several important points:

The better you understand your target customer, the easier it is to offer something they will buy. In fact, with enough understanding you can customize other people’s products to solve problems for that market.

Choose a share of customer over a particular product or service and you will go further to create strong business relationships. Be known for your ability to solve problems in that industry and can adapt to changes in the business environment.

© 2003 Justin Hitt, All rights reserved.
/ strategic-business | growing-products /

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Use Outside Influences to Shape Your Products

Why should you let outsiders to dictate the products or services you provide? Unless they are buyers, they really do not have say. However, what if these individuals could become buyers of something similar to what you offer.

Often outside groups will lobby to change what you sell. Global Exchange forces Starbucks to sell "fair trade" coffee, but what do you think would happen if caught this interest before the protests. By understanding your customer bases concerns, you can turn protests into profits.

If Starbucks saw this desire for fair-trade coffee�they could have become the big company that opens doors for quality specialty coffees. Marketing efforts could have included demonstrating how the sale of such coffee promotes free trade, actually bringing more of the world to every outlet.

Look for under represented but profitable groups of buyers you are not yet serving. Find those who match the demographics similar to your existing customers. Perhaps these individuals purchase premium versions of your product, or perform customization to product that represent possible factor features.

Organizations with strong business relationships look at their products with another person's perspective. They watch closely for future business trends while increasing their understanding of customers. This growing prospective opens new markets, introduces partnership opportunities, and improves the value of your products over time.

Abstracted from "Take a holistic prospective to your business" available on-line to subscribers of Applying Strategic Relations and the Strategic Relations Journal.

Where Wealth Builders Go For Customers

If anyone knows were to find more income it is going to be Global Private Banking, and according to a recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, 85% of respondents are planning to pursue clients that are more affluent.

According to an article in Gulf News, this means tough competition for high-wealth managers. With such a large percentage of service providers pursuing a small but top-tier group of customers, how does a company stay ahead? The same thing is happening in your industry, everyone seems to be fighting over the same ideal customers.

To secure a better breed of customer you must:

  1. Understand your prospects needs and wants.
  2. Orient your products around those wants.
  3. Know what these prospects are willing to pay for.
  4. Create a comprehensive client profile outlining key characteristics.
  5. Define your retention process to retain valued clients.
  6. Design a means of monitoring valued clients progress.
  7. Invest in relationships for client benefit as much as profits.
  8. Focus on few products that best serve this niche.
  9. Know what types of clients are most profitable for you to serve.

Do not expect your most desirable customers to know who you are, but do expect your top customers to be willing to share details about what will serve them better. Leverage your existing relationships in this manner to gather the tools you need earn more of the same.

© 2003 Justin Hitt, All rights reserved.

Have you seen a news story that I may find interesting as it pertains to executive relationships? Does your company have a story about results with strategic relations? I'd like to hear about it. Email me at feedback-newsletter

Tip for Today

Discuss Project Challenges in Periodic Meetings

Build stronger relationships with your employees when solving customer projects by seeking solutions more than dictating them.

If a group is facing challenges in regards to providing what a customer desires bring the group together, often the most unexpected member knows how to solution. Do not hide challenges, but face them openly for the benefit of the group. Groups who openly communicate their challenges can shape products to meet customers needs.

Approach project challenges as if you know someone in the group has a solution to the problem, it is just a matter of defining the problem, and a solution will appear. Seek input from team members at all levels, no matter their educational background. Rely on project and product familiarity when defining challenges during periodic meetings.

Ask employees how products can be improved, what customers are asking for, how customers service could be improved anything that addresses customers issues and brings you closer to solving the projects problem.

This "attitude of discovery" shows team members their opinions are welcome, further breaking down barriers the prevent people from speaking up. Accept all suggestions, then define a solution and assign individual responsibility for action.

Excerpted from "Practice Containment and Recovery In-process" available on-line at https://iunctura.com/web log/2003/07/13.html#a78

Share the most important relationships building lesson you've learned in your career; or, the best lesson you've learned reading this newsletter. Email your tip to tiptoday-newsletter

Shameless Self Promotion

Discover Three New Resources That Can Increase Your Profits

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Do you want strategies you can share with your team, but do not want to wait until the final publication? Short topical articles teach you how to build stronger relationships in business, in the same style of Inside Strategic Relations. Get daily tips and comment on research notes even before their published with Building Business Relationships, available on-line at https://iunctura.com/columns/

Please, take a moment to look over these resources and let me know what you think because I know you will find them useful. It is just more examples of how I use what I teach you to practically grow your understanding of executive relationships. If there are any other ways I can serve your needs, please let me know.

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Inside Strategic Relations is for Sales and Marketing Management who want to turn business relationships into profits. Members read past issues at https://iunctura.com/archive-newsletter

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