Lance J. Welter, Chair, Certification Networking Group of Chicago
Tricia Sutton, MSc, MBA, PMP, NPDP, President, Sutton Enterprise Inc.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011, 1:00 p.m. EDT (USA) Register Online

Many organizations pretend to be customer driven but, in reality, are not. They think they have some idea of what their customers really want, need, or desire but have little hard data to support their assumptions or make hard decisions regarding new profitable services. Consequently, because needs are not anticipated, organizations miss opportunities to provide value-adding services or generate new revenue through new services, A river without headwaters dies, but good, current customer knowledge gives the headwaters needed for your company’s or function’s future growth.

This presentation begins with a foundation of why direct understanding of the customer is such a key success factor to organizations and what is different from what typically is done in conventional development efforts, including the value of more direct methods of gathering customer understanding. Customer knowledge, or the environment of the customer, is much more than just simply asking a customer’s opinion–via telephone or Internet survey. It is an in-depth observation and understanding of your customer to anticipate needs the customer does not consciously realize he or she has at this time. This session focuses on why and how to get better intelligence on your customers, whether internal or external, so you can anticipate their needs and offer innovative solutions.


  • List the different approaches for gathering customer knowledge; explain the value of the approaches and the types of customer situation where they work effectively and how to get the best value from them
  • Compare different options for assessing the data gathered, defining and prioritizing needs, and leveraging the data to create new revenue streams
  • Use a simple tool to help you identify what you know, what you do not know, and what customer knowledge you should know to develop value-adding services and improve how you interface with them.

This session is for you whether you are an internal or an external consultant if you want a deeper understanding of your clients’ needs so you can provide better service, and more innovative solutions, or identify new revenue streams.

About the Presenters
Lance J. Welter
is a marketing professional who understands the importance of obtaining and using customer knowledge to develop sustainable revenue streams. As a member of the Sutton team, his role is helping clients define, understand, and obtain the customer knowledge needed to increase or create revenue. Lance’s methodology is Socratic–asking and listening more than telling. He understands revenue is only gained by thinking outside of the box; critically listening to your customers, both internal and external; and having the ability to get all egos checked at the door–creating the ultimate win-win situation for all.

He has extensive experience working with both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, establishing credentialing and certification programs, creating frameworks for requirement documents, and scoping and overseeing technology implementations. Currently, Lance is chair of the Certification Networking Group of Chicago and co-chair of the Agile Project Leadership Network (APLN). He has also appeared as subject matter expert in association management and certification for the online TV program, Association Executives Today.

Tricia Sutton is an innovator. After years of experience in project and program management in other companies, she broke away to start Sutton Enterprises Inc. Since taking the helm of Sutton Enterprises in 2002, she has been able to instigate strategic change in other businesses looking to improve their practices and performance. Tricia works relentlessly to be on the cutting edge of knowledge and technology in her field. She uses her extensive experience in project management to effectively coordinate a dynamic team and a diverse group of clients. She and her team strive to create new value for organizations and their customers by innovating and streamlining business practices.

Tricia is an active volunteer in professional associations, currently serving as the past president of the Chicago Chapter of PDMA; the “Chapter Spotlight” contributing editor for Visions Magazine, an award-winning publication of PDMA; and an active volunteer with the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) in planning product development content for the association’s 2007 and 2010 conferences.