04: RELATIONSHIPS The customer is not your friend.

The customer is not always right. The relationship between customer and vendor by definition is built on tension. Tension characterized by the customer who wants to minimize price. And the vendor who wants to maximize price. These are conflicting objectives. Customer-centric strategies that focus on delighting the customer ignore the economic realities of delivering this strategy. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU DON’T LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMER OR RESPOND TO CUSTOMER NEEDS. It means the customer voice is one of several voices that need to be reconciled. Any customer strategy first and foremost must begin with the objective of maximizing short-term profit. It is not possible to lead a sales force schooled in delight and collaboration into a market share battle demanding tension and confrontation.