And that secret is, your customers don’t care about you.
Okay, that may have been a little harsh and it may be a slight exaggeration, but only a little one. The truth of the matter is, many companies spend their time talking about how great they are and how much they have to offer.
I know you’ve heard the pitches. They go something like this:
- We have the best team.
- We offer the best service.
- Come and work with us and you’ll get the benefits of our new and shiny equipment/office/services.
- We’re so much better than the competition
The thing is, your customers probably don’t care about all your bells and whistles. They don’t really care about your awards, accolades and your team. No offense, but they really don’t.
The truth is, what they do care about is how they’re going to feel if they decide to work with you. That’s it, so start shifting the story that you’re telling and turn it into one that they actually want to hear.
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How well do you know your customers, really? Do they tell you one thing while they’re thinking something else entirely? Are they reacting to the offerings that you’re bringing to the table and neglecting to tell you what they really want? Do they even know what they want?
These are questions that many of us forget or neglect to ask when it comes to our customers. Taking the time to not just get to know those customers but to understand their problems and issues with “out of the box” thinking is what sets you apart from every other salesperson who comes calling.
Read between the lines, ask the tough questions and consider how you could tweak your approach or your offerings to make their life just a little bit easier. When you do this not only are you deepening that relationship with the client but you’re also going to be providing a service that is ultimately more valuable, leaving you in a position as a trusted and strategic partner, moving forward.
So instead of listening to only what is said the next time you meet with your client, tune into your intuition and listen to what it’s saying about what is really going on. And ask the tough questions…
WHY does that matter to you?
HOW do you want to be perceived by your customers? WHY?
WHAT is it that really “lights you up” about your business? WHICH parts are you most passionate about and most drawn to?
Once you start connecting with your customers and clients on this new authentic level that is when everything starts to change. At the end of the day you can never go wrong by committing to become more real.
The single most important ingredient for growing any business is the creation of customers who are so happy that they tell your friends about you. That’s it, plain and simple. But how many companies lose sight of this critical element and focus instead on any number of other things: cutting corners, increasing profits, beating the competition…
But what it really comes down to is this one thing. If you can find a way to make sure your customer feels special, feels heard and feels well-served then tell me, how easy is it going to be for your competitor to steal that customer away? Probably not very easy at all, because people will pay a little more and will even go out of their way for a company and a brand that they feel “gets” them and treats them well.
This type of thinking has led people to be able to successfully create restaurants and other businesses that are miles from the nearest town, yet people will go out of their way to go there because of the way it makes them feel once they arrive. It’s also one of the key reasons that some companies succeed while those right next door to them do not.
While building customer loyalty is a long game, more marathon than sprint, it’s also well worth the investment. Customers who are valued and who feel connected are much less likely to chase the next shiny object that comes by, and that’s true even in a world of ever-shortening attention spans.
So, what can you do today to say thank you to your customers, to let them know you care? Give it a try and see what happens. You might be very pleasantly surprised.