Customer Intimacy

December 29, 2011

by Townsend Wardlaw

Are you making the right connections?

In my work as a sales coach and mentor I often speak about Customer Intimacy. For many, Intimacy is an awkward word to use when referring to your customer (or prospective customers) relationships. Awkward in the sense that most people are uncomfortable with the dynamic of intimacy in their personal lives. For most, Intimacy is actually an element they seek to avoid or extract from their professional world.This makes sense when you think about what the word intimacy suggests.

It conjures images of closeness… connectedness… trust… the sharing of hopes and dreams and fears… our deepest darkest secrets… Right?

How does this contrast with a typical buyer-seller relationship?

What words come to mind when you think about your ‘normal’ customer interaction?

Often, the most important information – that which would enable us to truly help – is not shared (or worse… concealed) by the prospect.


Because they fear we will use information gained to our advantage instead of to their benefit. This should sound familiar as the primary barrier to intimacy in our personal lives is the fear that others will use our hopes and dreams to hurt us…either intentionally or by accident.People spend years…sometimes decades in therapy trying to open up and connect with others. It shouldn’t be surprising then that this dynamic carries over to their careers.

How then, are we to overcome this challenge in the professional realm?

Should we even bother trying or should we resign ourselves to shallow, guarded, and transactional customer relationships?

Townsend Wardlaw has worked for start ups, massive corporations, and founded and ran a successful sales consulting and outsourcing company for seven years–but he has always been passionate about sales and music. These days, you can find him working with individuals and companies alike, helping them to be truly motivated to change, grow, and accomplish amazing things. Check out his other blog writings here! We think they’re pretty great.

Teneo Talent offers a new process of sales recruiting that uses sales assessments for both employers and job seekers to create long term fits.  We also offer career development tools through our sales career coaching program, including resume writing. We offer career advice, career matching and although our organization has a national focus, and have many Denver and Boulder sales jobs available at the moment.


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