What if you have two calls come in at once?

Two calls come into your phone line at the same time. Through some technical magic you know the caller on line 1 is a customer with a problem and the caller on line 2 is a prospect wanting to buy something. If you can only answer one, which do you answer? Which would your president answer?

A customer-driven mindset will answer the customer on line 1; a revenue-driven mindset will answer the prospect on line 2.

For me, the customer should come first: we've taken his money and made him a promise. The prospect won't go away and might appreciate that you put a customer first, since (he hopes) he will soon become a customer. Despite what many think, a deal doesn't die so quickly, as long as you respond to the prospect in a timely manner.

My friend Alan reported this interaction with AAA:

Thank you for calling Triple-A, where Members come first. To become a member, please press 1. If you are already a member, press 2.

Who comes first again?

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.

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