Spent last week on the road to Phoenix and San Jose. First part of the week got to meet the entire production team for our new product. A good part of the discussion revolved around product design, burn in testing and field support. It was refreshing to talk to people who understood 6 sigma processes and ISO 9001. Looks like we'll have a really high availability product.
The second part of the week I was at a conference with potential users of our product. Great conversations about what they needed vs. what we were delivering. And I had an old marketing lesson drilled home.
Tell them exactly what you can do and what you cannot do and why. Your customers tend to be smart people too and the more precise you are in describing how you fit in to their processes, the better off you will be. And when your goals and objectives line up with their goals and objectives, you have very powerful friends indeed.
It also helps when your new process is 98% more efficient than everyone else's.