Over the past week, I have been doing some homework. I asked some of my clients to articulate the biggest challenges they face. Talk about diverse! So many different answers came up. Here are a few. You might recognize yours, but don’t worry, I won’t name names.
Getting my ads to work better
Reaching more people
Regular, predictable income
The expense of this marketing I don’t know will ever pay off.
Late into the night, I poured over all your different answers and searched through the other questions on the survey to see if I could find some thread, some pattern.
I prefer closed ended survey questions. Count how many of you ticked the same box, and I have my answer! When I leave the possible answers up to you, you come up with things I would never have thought of.
For this question, the one I considered most important, your answers were all over the map. Eventually, I gave up and went to bed.
The next morning, before sunrise (so it wasn’t really morning, was it?), I was wide awake but resisting the temptation to jump out of bed and check the answer sleep brought me against the list of your answers.
Do you know what it was?
No. Money doesn’t buy products and services. It’s like Clinton in the 1992 presidential campaign, “The economy, stupid.” Except that in this case, I realized the thread that holds the list of challenges together is “The customer, stupid.”
Why else would you be in business? With no customers or clients, you’d have no business, no revenue, no money and no work to do.
Who are your customers or clients? What do they want? Why do they buy from you? Who doesn’t buy from you? Why not?
At the end of the day, I realized that it doesn’t matter if we are selling tires or professional services, if we are printers or personal trainers, we are all in the people business!
So next time you are feeling frustrated about money, revenues, or cashflow, about marketing, advertising, or sales, or about providing excellent service, I think if you focus on the living, breathing people you are serving, you will find some valuable clues about what you can do.
Imagine the face of a customer of yours – one you like – and think about what that person would want you to do. Your customers want you to succeed. They want to be proud to be your customers. Help them feel that, and your business will thrive!