Communication May Not Fix Everything But It Fixes Most Things

While I work with a number of channels, the primary dealer channel I service is telecom.
It was pretty low key and the media didn’t really make a big deal out of it so you might not know this but last week Apple announced the new iPhones for 2019.
Anyway, on Friday I received an email from one of my biggest accounts. They were in a panic because it looked to them like our sku setup information was wrong.

Good day Lee,

It looks like the hit far part numbers are mixed up, when we type in the part number for a 5.8 ( iPhone 11) it come up with the case for a 6.1 ( iPhone 11 Pro) and vice versa.

We looked at a few different ones and they all seem to be the same.

We want to make sure that the pre ordered cases come as we ordered.

If all of our sku setups were wrong that would indeed be a disaster for launch.

However, if you’re keen-eyed you spotted the problem right away: they had mistook the 6.1 for the iPhone 11 Pro.

See, even Apple knew I was right!

A simple mistake, with a really simple solution.

Honestly, I wish all my problems at work were this easy to solve!

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about today.

This story exemplifies an important lesson: the importance of genuine, two-way communication with your partners.

If you listen, actually really listen to what they’re telling you, then you’ll be able to better provide solutions, and meet not only their immediate needs, but less-obvious needs that come out from asking questions, and actively listening to their answers.

In this example, rather than panicking at the sense of panic in the email, I could clearly see that the solution to their perceived problem was right in front of them.

Listen, observe, process, and find a solution for them.