“Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of a journey. At other times, it is allowing another to take yours.”
Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
There is an interesting trend that often occurs when a vendor implementation team begins a new OSS project. There is a tendency to start with “You NEED to….” and that’s where the customer often tunes out and hears “blah blah blah.”
The vendor is generally the expert so it makes sense that they will know all about delivering their solution. However you’ll notice that if you’re the vendor it means that you’re starting off by speaking YOUR language. In order to establish a connection with the customer, you have to communicate in THEIR language, to hear THEIR story, to hear what THEY want/need to achieve.
Vendor sales teams are usually adept at speaking the customer’s language, but the vendor’s implementers often don’t. To lead the customer’s implementation team towards successful delivery, ask the questions that allow you to create a story of “WHY,” which speaks in THEIR language and makes THEIR involvement compelling for THEM.