Customer-Centric Velcro

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It’s hard to come by leaders who have a cognitive filter on everything they say and do which keeps the customer top-of-mind. I call this way of thinking “Customer-centric Velcro”.

Business leaders must have the ability to understand business and financial needs, formulate strategies to achieve results. Effectiveness at that is an achievement. However, before a customer-centric leader moves a hand or opens her mouth, their behavior passes rolls past a “customer-centric Velcro” in their head. Some assortment of synapses — like the hooks in velcro — grab non-customer-centric ideas from the brain and prevent them from being spoken or acted upon.

On the inside of a company, it’s easy to think of ideas and behave in a way that is right for the business, wrong for the customer. Those with “Customer Centric Velcro” are able to keep the non-customer-friendly behaviors from getting executed.

I don’t see many people who have this gift. And I don’t know if it’s natural competency, a developed skill. My friend Bryan Eisenberg suggests customer-centricity may be typically found the Meiers Briggs personality type of NT (Intuitive Thinkers) or NF (Intuitive Feelers).

I am convinced, however, that companies who fill their cubes with people like this will drive bottom line results in a customer-centric way.

4 Responses

  1. Decker Marketing: Customer-Centric Velcro

    [I’m not sure how I’ve missed Sam Decker’s blog these past few months, but I’m glad I found it. Any friend of Bryan Eisenberg’s is a friend of mine.] Customer-Centric Velcro One of the most customer-centric leaders I know left

  2. Jonathan Lockwood says:

    Sam,
    I was referred to your blog from another site, and noticed your piece on “Customer Centric Velcro.” I wanted to comment on Bryan’s suggestion that this talent identifies “the Meiers Briggs personality type of NT – Intuitive Thinkers.” I’m not sure he completely understands this temperament.
    The true explanations of these temperaments kind of defy their labels. For instance, while it’s true that traditionally the “Rational” temperament (NT) was called “iNtuitive Thinking,” the more up-to-date definition is “iNtrospective Tough-Minded.” The “N” doesn’t exactly mean that they have extraordinary “intuition.” It more correctly means that, instead of comprehending things through strictly concrete observation, they take in the information, flip it around inside their head and comprehend through “iNtrospection.” (Basically it identifies them as less “concrete” and more “abstract.”)
    And regarding the “Thinking” label, the more up-to-date understanding recognizes T’s as “Tough-Minded” as opposed to F’s, originally described as “Feeling,” but now more correctly understood as “Friendly.”
    While it’s true that your friend may indeed have been an NT, you should know that NTs are not usually that great at holding back their true thoughts. “Diplomacy” is defined as “tact and skill in dealing with people.” The temperament that shows a natural aptitude in this regard is the NF (Idealist.) Like their abstract cousins (the NTs) they are iNtrospective, but unlike NTs they are less “utilitarian” and more “cooperative.”
    So I’d say your friend is more likely an NF. If she is an NT, it is because she has (through experience and with great conscious effort) learned that it is the best way to do business. That being the case, it’s also possible she is one of the other two temperaments.
    I realize it’s unlikely that you were fishing for such a deep examination of this subject, but, when I read of your friend’s comment, just had to offer my reaction.
    Regards,
    Jon

  3. Sam says:

    Thanks Jon…it could’ve been NT or NF. I’ve changed the entry and I’ll confirm with Brian. He certainly knows the personality types better than me!

  4. Rahul sharma says:

    Can you please further eloborate following:
    1) NT
    2) IT
    Also what approach should one take while selling or probing.

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