In a world where most companies are increasingly stressed by more buzzwords than ever, Inbound is one of the words that are stressing companies the most. So what is Inbound?
I ran in to the expression ‘Inbound’ for the first time 2009 when I read a book by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. Over time I have realised that what is described in that book is a methodology and a philosophical way of thinking about people and how to show respect for who they are and what situation they are in.
The Inbound methodology requires that you shift mindset. It compels you to be truly interested in getting to know how it is to be ‘them’— the ones you are trying to reach, sell to, or create a relationship with.
It’s above and beyond the corporate nonsense of being ‘customer focused’, it means that you truly need to understand how it is to sit in their chair, walking in their shoes, and meet the everyday challenges they do.
For many years companies have said to me: ‘Anders, we have been thinking inside-out all these years but now we have started to think outside-in’. Most companies think that this is what they do today.
‘At its most basic level, Inbound is a methodology that forces you to only look from the outside.’
However, in reality there is no outside-in. People—the ones you are trying to reach—don’t think outside-in, they only think from the outside.
They have no understanding for the limitations of your ability to fulfil an order, deliver in a short time frame, or answer enquiries outside office hours.
They want what they want, whenever they want it. If you can’t fulfil their needs chances are high that they will go looking for someone else who can.
At its most basic level, Inbound is a methodology that forces you to only look from the outside.
It takes its starting point from the point of view of the ones you are trying to sell to (as opposed to from what you are trying to sell), and it means that you truly need to understand how it is to be in their situation.
Are you interested in getting to know how it is to be ‘them’?