Where’s your voice?
As with many of my posts, this one also starts with a reference to early childhood. Remember in “The Little Mermaid,” when Ursula takes Arielle’s voice? What happens next…”crickets”….she can’t speak and communicate efficiently, “duh.” Spoiler alert, it doesn’t ruin her chances with Eric and they end up falling in love.
Not all love stories work out as well as Eric and Arielle’s. Without a voice…it is certainly more difficult to communicate. This is true in both the literal sense and figuratively. Each of us has a unique voice, typically it is a perspective on what we enjoy or are passionate about. When I talk with my friends, they could talk for DAYS on their favorite hiking route up Longs Peak, the keyhole route, and the equipment you need to bring. Or we digress to chat about where the best coffee beans are grown (for those wondering…it’s Antigua, Guatemala) and how best to brew it. My point is, just like my friends, you have a perspective on things that matter to you. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know many of my fellow peers and learning about their passions. It is always great conversation and I look forward to many more such discussions.
What I am asking next may be controversial, but I think it is still worth asking. Is IBM Cloud one of those things that matter to you? I want to spark a fire where we enjoy talking about the work we do with our clients. We discuss the positives and negatives, and hopefully, the positives outweigh the negatives. Most of all, I want you to have a perspective for what YOU want to accomplish with your client. I want you to communicate that passionate perspective, that voice. Further, I want to hear intent. Anyone that has access to the systems can easily see an inventory report or what is running. The fact that a client runs VMware farm on top of IBM Cloud is not important, Gainsight/IMS/Amplitude/Cognos can tell you that. What those tools can NOT tell you is WHY they run those environments, the intent. Then you may as well follow up with the “next best action.” I am not saying this is easy. It is hard.
In one of my previous blog posts I made a blunt statement, “I pay CSMs based on their account growth, but I promote CSMs based on their ability to set a vision for an account and implement their vision.” This is more theory than reality, but the motivation behind it is valid. When meeting with Kyndryl, business partner, account, etc…ask hard questions that make them squirm. Ask the questions that “DEFINE THE RELATIONSHIP,” and set the vision. Once again, this is hard. But you are here at IBM because you can accomplish hard things.
Have a perspective. Have a voice. Communicate intent.