Know your customer and your technology

In this month's cover story on emergency management, Bruce Walker of Northrop Grumman Corp. offers advice that applies far beyond the world of first responders.

The key to persuading customers to adopt a new technology is to provide features they will find irresistible, to paraphrase Walker.

Don't let the simplicity of his advice fool you. Don't make the mistake of assuming everyone knows that.

Dig a little deeper and think, "How do I deliver it?"

When my parents were still running the restaurant they owned in Luray, Va., my mom tracked everything: how many servings of which items were sold, what the weather was like each day, what other events were going on and what other restaurants were doing.

She knew breakfast and lunch customers didn't have a lot of time. Dinner and weekend meals could be a little more leisurely. In short, she knew her customers, and she understood the world they lived in.

The idea Walker expressed so simply is that you have to know what will thrill your customers. Unfortunately, your customers often can't tell you what that is until they see it.

A risk in the technology industry is the dangerous lure of the gee-whiz factor. It is easy to get caught up in what the technology can do. Just remember that it better apply to a customer's problem or make his or her job easier.

As Walker told staff writer Alice Lipowicz, if you are just delivering call forwarding and voice mail to first responders in the field, forget it.

Instead, give them accident details, phone numbers and addresses via their handheld devices and you'll make a bigger sale. The more value, the better.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close
SEARCH
contracts DB

Trending

  • Dive into our Contract Award database

    In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Read More

  • Is SBA MIA on contractor fraud? Nick Wakeman

    Editor Nick Wakeman explores the puzzle of why SBA has been so silent on the latest contractor fraud scandal when it has been so quick to act in other cases. Read More

Webcasts

  • How Do You Support the Project Lifecycle?

    How do best-in-class project-based companies create and actively mature successful organizations? They find the right mix of people, processes and tools that enable them to effectively manage the project lifecycle. REGISTER for this webinar to hear how properly managing the cycle of capture, bid, accounting, execution, IPM and analysis will allow you to better manage your programs to stay on scope, schedule and budget. Learn More!

  • Sequestration, LPTA and the Top 100

    Join Washington Technology’s Editor-in-Chief Nick Wakeman as he analyzes the annual Top 100 list and reveals critical insights into how market trends have impacted its composition. You'll learn what movements of individual companies means and how the market overall is being impacted by the current budget environment, how the Top 100 rankings reflect the major trends in the market today and how the biggest companies in the market are adapting to today’s competitive environment. Learn More!