Our customers say it best!

   Deliberate Strategies Consulting provides account loyalty research and customer relationship consulting to companies in B2B sales. Here are excerpts from testimonial letters from some of the high-tech, manufacturing, service and construction-industry firms we’ve worked with.

   Companies that get the greatest value from deep-dive interviews depend on 30 or fewer customers for a significant percentage of company or division revenues. Take a look at what some have said.


Construction-industry firm revived dormant relationships

[After first project] “Going into this project, one thing I’d hoped to learn was how to work better with the customers we were asking you to speak with. We’re already getting value in that area. We now have a formula for selling to each of the customers who participated.

“Your report gave us great information we couldn’t have gotten from someone working for [us]. The way you ask questions elicits useful responses. Hearing events described from a customer’s perspective is an eye-opener.

“In terms of ROI, one measurable piece is having a chance to work with prior clients who had stopped considering us before you interviewed them. We’ve already re-engaged with two I know we wouldn’t have without your involvement.”

Same firm got sales process guidance, competitive assessment and operational feedback

[After three projects:] “We’ve hired Ann Amati for three projects over the past eight years. Most recently we hired her to update our understanding of how invitation and selection decisions are made by specific current, past and prospective customers. We gained those insights, and we learned how we stack up against key competitors. The feedback and comments Ann delivered also helped us with operational issues we didn’t realize we needed to focus on.

“We operate in an ever-changing marketplace. I anticipate bringing Ann back again when we need to refresh our awareness of how customers think about [our company].”

   President and CEO
   Construction-industry firm*

Subcontractor experienced immediate payback and ROI

“We were in the early stages of developing a five-year strategic plan. I hired Ann Amati to talk with customers who had field experience with us. I pull out Ann’s report once a quarter and use it as a guidepost and to monitor how well we’re sticking with the priorities our customers spelled out for us. I’m very pleased with the work Ann did. The project paid for itself with one revived relationship. We anticipate bringing Ann back every three or four years.”

   President and CEO
   Construction-industry firm*

Light manufacturing

Commercial printer needed revenue; banker recommended Deliberate Strategies

“My banker recommended I meet with Ann Amati of Deliberate Strategies Consulting. We needed to generate more revenue, and she promised to help us develop tools to do so. Her work played a role in helping us win a contract with a new [Fortune 500] customer.

“Ann will discover things that you could learn yourself, but you would never think to ask. Even more so than the individual conversations you’re going to read notes from, getting them all summarized and put together the way Ann does it will give you an overview of your business that you will find invaluable. The benefits from the work Ann did for us will continue for years to come.”

   Commercial printing company*

Hardware remanufacturer learned customers felt company was headed down the wrong path!

“After two years of flat growth, we needed a qualitative tool to understand our customer base and adjust our business model to achieve revenue growth. Your research produced the tool we needed to grow our business.

“The results of your work told us we were headed down the wrong path. While it was a message our company was reluctant to hear, recognizing the needs of our customers and uncovering market opportunities was critical for future success. I was amazed at your ability to extract such detailed data from our customers: customers open up to you in a way they never will with their sales rep or management.”

   Hardware remanufacturing firm*

Outsourced/Corporate Services

Services firm experienced a more timely, less burdensome process than “survey firms” delivered

[After first project:] “When I engaged Deliberate Strategies Consulting, I already had prior experience using an outside firm to collect feedback from my customers in earlier jobs. By contrast:

  • Your project turned around much quicker than I expected, so the information was still fresh;
  • There were many fewer meetings required to get the project started than I expected;
  • You took all of the burden of material development off my shoulders;
  • You worked in the background updating me with status e-mails weekly freeing me to do my job without interruption during the project;
  • You did not farm the interviews out to less experienced interviewers–you did all the interviews yourself;
  • The information you turned over was much richer than anything I’d gotten before.”

Four projects later, same services firm praises sophisticated conversations customer interview projects made possible

[After five projects:] “Your process pulled our key customer contacts out of their issue-focused orientation and got them to consider our contribution from a larger perspective. You asked questions that made my executive-level customers sit back in their chairs and think a minute. That was valuable. Your detailed reports gave me material to initiate more complex business discussions with my customers than was possible based solely on our normal execution-focused interactions.

“Though these studies weren’t designed to enhance revenue, I always got my money back from your projects. You consistently deliver more than promised.”

   Regional Managing Director
   International services firm*

New president wanted impartial “lay of the land;” customer comments spurred new initiatives

“I had been in my position less than 90 days when I first engaged Ann Amati. Her findings gave us enough clarity into where we stand with our customers to know where to push and where to back off.

“Having an expert interviewer research our value proposition as experienced by our customers gave political capital to initiatives that needed to happen.

“The project clarified what specifically we should highlight in our marketing. I plan to use Ann again to help us confirm whether subsequent wins reflect changes we made to how we now go to market with our product and our solutioning.”

   National services firm*

Services firm improved alignment, segmentation and strategic thinking; project spurred new initiatives

“As part of our continuous improvement process, we actively work on bringing our organization into alignment with customer expectations. I engaged Ann Amati to probe customers about general issues and a specific strategic topic. Because she paid attention to who offered which comments, we got an unexpected ‘ah-ha’ around how we could segment our customer base to better focus key resources. That added value.

“The project was timed to support our strategic planning retreat. Ann’s report influenced our agenda and helped us shift our thinking. We now have a better understanding of what customers value most.”

   President & CEO
   Regional services firm*

Ad agency put its money where its mouth is to learn “the story behind the story” of where they stood with one key customer

“I challenge anyone thinking about hiring Ann Amati to ask themselves two questions. First, how much do they value their client relationships? And second, how much are they willing to invest to learn the truth? I know we can do the research ourselves, but our clients will never tell us the whole truth. We risk learning the whole truth only when it’s too late.

“On the other hand, clients will tell Ann the whole truth. She’s a neutral third party, a professional who knows how to do this. She’ll get the story behind the story. At the same time, her involvement makes a statement to clients that we are willing to put our money where our mouth is in terms of the relationship.”

   Executive Director
   International advertising agency*

Consulting firm engages Deliberate Strategies to monitor customer expectations

“I engaged Deliberate Strategies Consulting on numerous occasions to help me keep my finger on the pulse of our [Fortune 100] clients’ expectations. I know that clients don’t always express their expectations clearly at the beginning of a relationship (sometimes because they don’t know themselves what they expect). I know that expectations change over time, and the client doesn’t usually think to communicate that. I know that whatever their expectations are at any point in time, a client’s current expectations probably don’t coincide with what’s in the contract.

“I found the in-depth feedback Ann Amati collected for us to be invaluable in helping us stay current with client expectations. I look forward to using Deliberate Strategies Consulting to help me stay on top of my current and future business partner relationships.”

   Managing Partner
   Consulting firm (consumer electronics sector)*

Software Industry

Software vendor contrasted progress made between initial and follow-up customer interviews

[After two projects:] “In the Deliberate Strategies study there was enough depth there for us to understand each issue. The research and report were objective, comprehensive and thorough. We were able to see where our company had progressed over the past 18 months [i.e., since the first project] and where customers thought our priorities ought to lie.

“In terms of process, Ann Amati did a good job of setting my expectations during the project-planning stage. Her process is well-organized and efficient in that it required very little of my time or that of my people.”

   President and CEO
   Vertical-market software vendor*

Software vendor said, “It’s better to know than to not know.” Customers said, “Restructure!”

“I tasked you with asking my major [customer] contacts the questions I couldn’t ask so I could learn if the leadership actions I’ve been taking were perceived as being on track. For the record, I couldn’t have been more pleased with the work you did for me.

“Some of the feedback was a bit pointed, and a few people here took it personally, but it’s better to know than to not know. I’m working on restructuring the company and adding two positions to be filled from the outside. Your report showed me the customers are asking for changes, and I’m starting to see that we’ve gone about as far with the current structure as we can. Having customer quotes to point to makes it a little easier for me to push changes forward.”

Six years later, customer feedback prompts another restructuring

[After three projects:] “This week I reached some conclusions that I have been aware of for some time and that I would have preferred not to reach. Tomorrow I begin pushing that agenda. Getting the right people in the right seats can be a lot of work. Your study will be one of the data points I will use to support the need for change.”

   President and CEO
   Global software vendor*

*Excerpted from a letter on file at Deliberate Strategies Consulting