Customers. They’re the lifeblood of every business because without customers, you have no business.
The most important function of every business is to create and keep customers. It’s that simple and that difficult. It’s a common belief that most business failures are caused by a lack of capital. It’s also false. Practically all business failures are caused by a lack of customers. If you have enough customers, you can do almost everything else wrong and still make a profit. But if you don’t have enough customers, you can do everything else right and go broke.
“The customer isn’t always right, but he’s always the one with the money,” humorist Linda Perret wrote.
In a solo business, it’s easy for us to think of ourselves as the business. Don’t believe it for a minute. The customers are the business, you are the service providers.
Magnetic marketing isn’t smoke and mirrors, creative financing, or some funny-money pyramid scheme. It’s totally legal, honest, and ethical. To be a magnetic marketer all you need is the right mind-set, a little common sense, an understanding of why people buy, and the knowledge of a few simple techniques that anyone can apply to grow their business.
Adopt the magnetic marketing mind-set, forget about your own view of the world. Put aside your ego, your prejudices, and your opinions and look at the world through your customers’ eyes.
Who are your customers? What do they want? What is value to them, and how can you provide it?
Answering those questions correctly is the master key to success in any business. If you have a mission statement for your business, you already have the answers.
SCAN YOUR MARKET FOR OPPORTUNITIES
Making money becomes very easy when you have the answer to this question: What do my customers want most and how can I provide it?
Find a need and fill it. Find a hurt and heal it. Find a problem and solve it. Find an itch and scratch it. Find a want and satisfy it.
Your first priority is to find our what your customers want most. Then focus on using your passions and strengths to satisfy those wants. When customers want what you’re selling, earning money becomes incredibly easy. You don’t have to spend a lot of time, money, and effort hyping what you sell. You just have to position yourself in the market so customers know who you are, what you offer, and how to reach you. The result is they come to you.
Where’s the pain? Find out what’s bugging your customers and potential customers. Where there is a perceived pain, there is a sense of urgency about solving the problem. And people pay handsomely for solutions to urgent problems.
A person having a coronary doesn’t negotiate the price of medical care or say, “I want to think it over.” He wants the problem solved now and worries about the details later. That’s an extreme example, but it illustrates the point.
How do you find the pain? It’s simple. Ask customers, and they will tell you. A problem is the difference between what the customer has and what he wants. So ask the customer, “What do you have?” and “What do you want?” Or, to put it another way, “What is the situation now?” and “What would you like it to be?” That’s how you find the pain.
Myth: If I Do the Best Job, the Customer Will Come
How I wish that were true. Just do the best work and you’ll get the gold star. It works in school. It works in sports. It sometimes works on the job. But in the marketplace, it rarely works.
Here’s the problem. In the marketplace there is no best work. There is only the perception of what is best. What you perceive as the best work, someone else may perceive as average, mediocre, or poor work. What one customer things is a great value is a waste of money to another. In the real world, there’s no such things as a good value or poor value, a good product or poor product, a high quality or low quality, a great service or poor service, a good deal or a bad deal. Only the customer’s perception makes it so.
Successful marketing is a game played between your customers’ and potential customers’ ears. It’s not what you know but what they perceive that counts. When it comes to marketing, how you perceive your business is irrelevant. How customers perceive your business is everything.
Professor Jack K. Mandel has taught marketing and small business at Nassau Community
College in Garden City since 1978. As a marketing consultant, he has helped hundreds of
Long Island companies focus on business success. He can be reached at [email protected]