It’s the customer stupid | Most pressing business issues

"It’s the economy, stupid" was a phrase in American politics widely used during Bill Clinton‘s successful 1992 presidential campaign against George H.W. Bush. For a time, Bush was considered unbeatable because of foreign policy developments such as the end of the Cold War and the first Gulf War. The phrase, coined by Clinton campaign strategist James Carville, refers to the notion that Clinton was a better choice because Bush had not adequately addressed the economy, which had recently undergone a recession.

In order to keep the campaign on message, Carville hung a sign in Clinton’s campaign headquarters that said:

  1. Change vs. more of the same
  2. The economy, stupid
  3. Don’t forget health care.

In sales (or in business generally) I wonder whether it would be worthwhile having a sign hanging over the desk that says "It’s the customer, stupid." Sometimes it may be the case that we forget that you need to convince the customer that your offering (a) meets her needs, (b) does so competitively and (c) provide an adequate ROI within budget, such that it makes it worth the customer’s while to buy from you.

A recent Gartner/Forbes study would suggest that these are the 10 most important issues for today’s business leaders. These folks are probably your customers, so it might be useful to see how your solution addresses these items.

  1. Attracting new customers
  2. Retaining customers and enhancing relationships with existing customers.
  3. Maintaining competitive advantage
  4. Planning and designing the strategy for your business
  5. Attracting and retaining skilled workers/talent
  6. Building a responsive, flexible organization
  7. Fostering innovation
  8. Focusing on core competencies
  9. Building new competencies
  10. Improving management decision making via better information and analysis

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