Remember my hapless entrepreneur from last week? He dug himself a giant scary financial hole because he was so in love with his vision of his product that he didn’t bother to get any feedback from actual customers.
In fact, he tended to think of his customers as an annoying necessity. They kept calling with their stupid support questions, keeping him from spending his time adding features no one had asked for.
They didn’t read the brochures he sent them. They didn’t use his Web page the way he thought they should. They didn’t order the product as soon as a salesperson called. The salespeople had to keep walking stupid prospects through all these dopey objections they had.
His prospects and customers were just incredibly inconvenient to his vision of what the company ought to be.
How do you feel when you’re treated as an inconvenience?
Ever been treated this way by a business? I have, probably hundreds of times. It never fails to make my blood boil.
I had a salesman in a car dealership lie to me once about having an add-on product in stock, because he didn’t want the hassle of going to dig the unwieldy item out of the store room.
I will walk twenty miles to work rather than ever buy another car from that dealership. And hmm, you know what? I have a better option than that. It’s called buying from one of their many competitors.
Even if you’re Apple, it’s not about you
I don’t care how cool or exciting your product is, it’s never about you. It’s about the customers who pay your salary and your employees’ salary.
I talk a lot about marketing being like a relationship, but there’s one key difference: it’s not supposed to be equal. You’re the one who has to be considerate, to anticipate the other’s needs, to always give more than you get, to listen 90% of the time and talk 10% of the time.
In a real relationship, you’d be a doormat.
In a business relationship, you’ll be a hero.
7 Dumb Things Small Businesses Do
- #1: Deciding You’re “Just Not Good” at Marketing
- #2: Going Without a Business Plan
- #3: Getting Upside-Down
- #4: Thinking It’s About You
- #5: The Worst Number
- #6: Ingratitude
- #7: Following the Herd