Stop serving me butter pasta. I ordered mac and cheese.

Classic Boxed Mac and Cheese in a White Bowl
Classic Boxed Mac and Cheese in a White Bowl

Does this sound familiar? Those of you with little ones may relate. But it also represents to a scenario playing out right now between B2B vendors and customers…again and again. This problem is not new. However, since the virus and economic crisis, it has only gotten worse. And that is not good for either the vendor or the customer.

Selling what you have

Vendors often retreat to a mode of selling what they have to sell. If they only sell butter pasta, that’s what they push…even if what you want and need is mac and cheese. There is a degree of comfort from selling what you know and have to sell. After all, how can you make money off something you don’t sell?

This is a common issue of miscommunication and listening. Many get lulled into believing that because the customer has always eaten butter pasta, it is what they want to eat. Even if they are ordering mac and cheese.

Evolving taste buds

Actions do not represent desires. Like most little ones, tastes will evolve over time and become more sophisticated. They graduate from butter pasta to mac and cheese. At some point they may even crave gourmet mac and cheese. But that is a blog for another time.

Just because they are still eating butter pasta, does not mean that is what they want or need. Their needs change and become more sophisticated. Actions do not represent desires.

Customers are no different. Their own customers and business evolve over time too. During this time of virus and economic crisis, their customers are evolving in ways they had not considered.

Time to experiment

The only way you will know what to do next is to listen and experiment. Listen to what customers want. Times have changed and are continuing to do so. So must the approach. But it all starts with listening, understanding and experimenting.

So, just because I keep eating butter pasta does not mean I’m confused and really want butter pasta. I’m just hungry.

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