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Striking a Balance Between Transactional & Consultative

As suppliers and manufacturers, how do we balance providing technical solutions to meet our customers’ requirements with the industry’s continuous push for commoditization of our technologies?

With the rise of new technologies such as cloud computing, tablet PCs, and consumer handheld devices that provide instant information access to millions of users worldwide, we as components suppliers are placed in a tight squeeze between higher demand for leading edge technology and a reliable and cost effective supply chain for our products and services.

Solutions perceived as unique by one customer may be perceived as “me too” by another. How do we best serve our design engineering community in a productive developmental process that will allow us to engage with them throughout the entire design cycle process, to maximize the outcome for both parties?

At {complink 11490|Bourns Inc.}, we have implemented a market-focused, consultative approach. By collaborating with our customers, we can better determine relevant technology solutions that meet specific needs or solve particular problems. We listen to our customers and conduct a thorough assessment of their needs and wants. It is not only important to assess customers’ current needs but also to explore and identify their future product design migration paths and goals.

Trust is also an important factor, and trust takes time to develop. Our customers must come to trust that our recommendations will allow their designs to be successful. The more time and expertise we use to thoroughly evaluate a customer’s business and product needs, the more comfortable customers will be.

If customers trust our recommendations, they know that we can add value to their development cycles and ultimately to the final product or solution. This simplifies and improves upon the go-to-market process. Asking informed and intelligent questions and actively listening to customer needs helps build trust.

When we begin to hear our customers respond with, “I never thought of that!” we know that we are heading in the right direction. Once we have a comprehensive knowledge of the customer’s situation and trust is established, we are able to determine the best solutions. We're all set to work together collaboratively in the future.

As suppliers and manufacturers, we often get tangled in a reactive selling cycle where parts are needed as a result of changes in demand or lead times. Opportunistic selling has been the traditional nature of our business, but we can always improve the way we conduct business. A methodical and developmental process focused on finding solutions to meet the customer’s requirements ensures long-term success for both parties.

2 comments on “Striking a Balance Between Transactional & Consultative

  1. Barbara Jorgensen
    May 11, 2011

    Hi Sid,

    The method of “technology for technology's sake” hasn't worked for awhile, although it's easy to see why it is tempting to promote a product that has made many advancements. The customer is still king, and I agree–the best method is to work with the customer on coming to the right combination of technlogy and practicality. Thanks for your perspective!

  2. saranyatil
    May 14, 2011

    Sid,

    You pointed it right if we have to attract customers, always there needs to be a spark created in terms of ideas which will enhance their projects.

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