Many senior executives at B2B suppliers see spending time with customers as a way to stay abreast of the market and as part of their job. But the results of their interactions vary widely. They can boost revenue and strengthen ties—or they can damage or even rupture relationships.
In this new Harvard Business Review article and podcast, we describe five distinct roles played by senior executives in relation to strategic customers—hands-off, loose cannon, social visitor, dealmaker, and growth champion—and examine the risks and rewards of each type. Becoming more customer-centric is not just another project for top executives to put on the to-do list; it is an essential part of growth and a fundamental driver of success.