It is great when a client or alliance partner sends you something that you know really resonates – when I read it, I realized that this person "gets" what I do and what I am passionate about. Her e-mail, in part, is as follows:
Lori, A friend just sent the quote below and it reminded me of you.
To get an accurate analysis of a customer’s systems economics and changing priorities, managers should exploit every tool at their disposal. Incumbent companies have the advantage of easy access to the customer, but it is their most underutilized asset.
The few companies that do use their access rarely take the critical next step: creating a privileged and often proprietary information flow from major customers to themselves. In today’s ultradynamic business landscape, this information flow could be one of a company’s most priceless assets. It is an enduring paradox that so few major organizations gather and systematize strategic customer information and convert it into an unmatched understanding of what the customer’s true priorities will be.
– Adrian Slywotzky & David Morrison, "The Profit Zone" 1997
— what are YOUR customers and business partners thinking about you? Does what you do match up with what they think you do? Is the value there for all to see?