Is it really success if it’s not equitable?
Was there ever a golden era when people ran businesses to earn a good living and contribute to the society that provided the foundation for their good fortune?
We seem to have evolved from a fair exchange for goods and services to jungle warfare. In pursuit of growth and profit the customer relationship has been the victim. At times it appears as if the board/shareholders are disconnected from reality, pursuing growth/profit ambitions at odds with the market and economic climate.
It drives a short termism and culture that’s not very equitable or perceived to be out of balance – more akin to customer exploitation than development or management!
In the B2B world, equitability with the relationship can often be a very fine line, trodden by experienced commercial managers. Supply chain pressures can manifest themselves as demands further down the chain. At the time, it appears inequitable, yet when unpacked and analysed can provide a route for further attunement. HOW? Understanding the business issue and working with the customer to address it. That requires a certain level of trust and interdependence to be in place. In essence you will already enjoy a certain level of attunement. Once the solution has been identified and proven to address the issue, equitability can be achieved through; enhanced relationship, additional value, value share, etc.
How can we halt/prevent the relentless erosion of equity within our customer base? To a certain extent, we cannot with everyone. Attuning relationships to deliver equitability is not easy and often revolves around a balance of trust and interdependence.
The first place to start is an internal determination of what you think is equitable. Then identify who is currently this level of equitability, these are develop customers. A number of customers may offer or deliver a level that fails to achieve equitability. These are highlighted for action; it may be the operation of higher levels of interdependence than is necessary or trust levels out of sync.
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