Here's what I learned while doing 2,600+ customer discovery conversations with B2B decision-makers:
The most engaging and revealing conversations didn't require an agenda. Or a deck. Not even a single slide, stat or talking point.
In fact, I hardly needed to speak at all. Because the customer talked 70 - 80% of the time - revealing critical business priorities and challenges they hadn't shared before.
How is this possible? It's simple. I asked customers about what they're experts in: Their broader business challenges and priorities, independent of the vendor’s (in this case my client's) product or service.
Here's the reality: Despite the fact that our product is the center of OUR world, customers are not - nor do they aspire to be - experts in your product. So it's no wonder they don't engage when we pepper them with slides ABOUT US.
That's why you need to stop talking AT them and start understanding the bigger picture “why” that’s driving what they need your product or service to help them accomplish. And I learned that they’re happy to share if we just put a little more thought into the questions - and then just $TFU (my shorthand for growing faster by talking less!).
What's the result of more open-ended conversations ABOUT THEM?
An unprecedented level of transparency that drives three precious outcomes for your company: Insights. Innovation. And revenue.
And, as you may already be painfully aware, the check-the-box nature of QBR's simply does not and cannot achieve those outcomes. Because QBR's are inherently focused on the vendor more than the customer. And that's why customers - and vendors - are experiencing unprecedented levels of "QBR fatigue."
It is precisely these lessons from the 2,600+ discovery conversations that led me to create The UBR. The UBR is a new type of customer conversation that incorporates all of the techniques and tools I've used to get customers to reveal what's most important TO THEM.
WHAT IS THE UBR?
WHAT IS THE UBR?
here's what SOME leaders & professionals had to say:
"Just asked a 'Bob London' question in a monthly client call...it worked wonders! Asked the magic wand one, and from their answers, I was able to get 2 great customer outcomes and success goals."
"This session went above in beyond in hitting what our role really is, and provided real examples of how to be a better partner with clients. I haven't received this type of training since client management training, and even then I feel like we didn't get this deep into questions/strategies like this."
"(One of our CSMs) uncovered a massive issue with a client by asking the question, 'If a competitor called, how would you react.' We now have a chance to save the client."
"I came out of it with specific tools I can use in my conversations with clients."
why Gtm / revenue & post-sales leaders should care about the ubr
FOR REVENUE LEADERS
- Know the voice of the customer first-hand.
- Authoritatively drive product-market fit, ideal customer profile & other critical business imperatives.
- Refine value proposition & messaging across all points in the buyer's journey & customer lifecycle.
FOR CS & ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT LEADERS
- Get fresh insights to drive value & innovation.
- Get customers to stay longer.
- Grow revenue.
- Avoid surprise churn.
- Differentiate from the customers' other vendor interactions.
- Build your team's authority & confidence.
What about bob (london)?
I teach customer success, account management and sales teams how to have more strategic, revealing customer conversations that drive transparency, insights and revenue.
Over the course of conducting more than 2,600 customer discovery conversations with B2B decision-makers, I developed a series of bold, disruptive questions and deep listening techniques - called Radically Authentic Discovery - that get customers and prospects to open up about what’s important TO THEM.
I was named a 2022 Top 25 Customer Success Influencer by SuccessCoaching and am also an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship; a board member of Mindshare, one of the country’s leading organizations for tech CEOs and founders; and an active member of Gain Grow Retain, a leading customer success community. My clients have been honored more than 30 times on Inc. Magazine's list of 5000 Fastest-Growing Private US companies.
I'm a regular and passionate writer and speaker on the topic of listening to customers, and his work and writing have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Forbes, the Miami Herald, USA Today, Inc. Magazine and The Washington Business Journal.