In the article “IBM’s Secret for Making the Sale” by Noah Buhayar, IBM’s secrets to its long-term success are discussed. It is pretty well known in the corporate world that IBM has managed to stay profitable even during times of severe economic hardship, but reading about exactly how they managed to do so was especially interesting.
Their first piece of advice was to build credibility that counts. By doing so, IBM set themselves apart from other healthcare providers. They made an extensively detailed 10-year plan of how they wanted to expand and become the preferred provider in the health-care industry. They built their credibility by showing customers that they were wanting to do more than just sell to them; they also wanted to find long term solutions for all of their problems. Obviously, that has gone a long way.
The next piece of advice was to identify customer’s real needs. When I first read this section of the article, I was a bit taken aback. It seemed so obvious. As I read further though, I realized that for a constantly evolving industry like healthcare that entails so many different things, no emphasis on customer needs could be too strong. IBM worked to make sure that their sales representatives were always showing their customers how IBM’s services and products could benefit them and how it is significantly better than their competitors. This aspect is especially important during the recession, but provides part of the explanation of how they have had such steady success.
Their last tip was to always stay relevant. Although true, it is easier said than done. Customer needs are always changing; it is just a fact of life. It is also what makes sales such a tough industry. Staying on top of what customers are looking for and new innovations in the healthcare industry is essential. IBM is constantly educating their employees on how to achieve this. For these reasons, it is a little easier to understand how IBM has maintained such a strong...