Moving Violation #5 - STARING AT THE HOOD ORNAMENT
I am far from done! I have two articles left in this series. In them, I will focus on account managers who miss opportunities with customers. The articles will uncover opportunities that other account managers often overlook or, simply, do not consider as relationships deepen and expand with key decision-makers, influencers, and new contacts. The articles will guide you toward spotting changes in a customer’s priorities and requirements. While it might sound cliché, account managers must remain alert and adept at recognizing these new sources of inputs and factors that could shift the direction of business and value for their customers. We’ll look at the first of these behaviors in this post. Moving Violation 5, “Staring at the Hood Ornament.”
Most vehicles manufactured over the last 80 years have displayed an emblem on the hood denoting either model of the vehicle or its manufacturer. For example, the iconic Mercedes-Benz hood ornament, the ubiquitous blue and white propeller blades of BMW, and the classic American blue bowtie of Chevrolet are all global brands displayed prominently on the hood.
The emblems allow quick recognition of the brand and often captivate onlookers. Someone gets a glimpse of the Rolls-Royce “Spirit of Ecstasy” in a parking lot or on the highway, which leaves little doubt of quality, craftsmanship, and cost. Owners and drivers are enthralled by that hood ornament because it represents an extension of their personality. A car’s hood ornament alone states to others: “I’ve made it.” “I’m rugged and adventurous;” “I’m eco-friendly;” or “Don’t even think of beating me to the finish line!”
Yet, trouble often begins when a driver focuses entirely on the hood ornament and not on other important things such as the direction and speed of the vehicle. By staring at the hood ornament and ignoring external cues, a driver often becomes oblivious to e