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How to think about clients

"Part of the reason the Oracle culture is so strong in the field is because we feel we own the accounts, own the customers," said Phillips.


Believe it or not, I am not making this quote up. He, Phillips, actually said this. The Phillips I am referring to is Charles Phillips, the President of Oracle Corporation. He actually believes, and it is obvious that he is proliferating this culture in his company, that clients want to be 'owned'. Perhaps I am naive, but I haven't met many clients that like to be 'owned' and treated as if they are someones 'property' to be exploited. On the other hand, you could credit Oracle with the fact that their 'we own our customers' philosophy has driven short-term results. Raising prices, exploiting ELA's, and aggressive contractual maneuvering are all things that you can do to drive results, when you believe that you 'own' your clients.


Personally, I have always been focused on delighting clients versus 'owing' them. I think it is how they preferred to be treated and I am willing to go as far as I need to in order to earn their trust/friendship. 


I have also subscribed to Jeff Bezos' theory of obsessing over customers and the Tony Hsieh philosophy  of Delivering Happiness to clients.


Certainly, we are not perfect in this category, but I try to focus on getting us better at it every day.




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