As an entrepreneur, I’ve probably learned more from my clients than they have from me.
Here are three of my favorite lessons:
1. Actually start with the customers. Make tangible efforts to be relevant within their lifestyle. Help people with what they’re already doing instead of artificially squeezing yourself into their overcrowded lives. Then, when you call them on the phone, you’ll prove that you care enough to understand their world. Then be a stand for their greatness. Put their names up in lights. Give people a front-row seat to their brilliance. Instead of sending prospects an article of interest, write a blog post that turns their company into the article of interest, and then dedicate it to them. Then, when you send them an email, the subject line will edify their genius. Focus on that, and the sale will make itself.
2. Apple users don’t need instructions. In a pinch, they can always hop online to find product information sheets, troubleshooting pages, installation handbooks, online tutorials, user guides and owner’s manuals. But why search for instructions when you already have permission? Steve Jobs democratized technology. He created products that don’t require anything but curiosity. You just open the box, press the button and let your imagination carry you away. Meanwhile, his competitors at Blackberry, whose 329-page instruction manual could pass for a university textbook, are seeing an 80% decline in stock price. Simplicity isn’t just elegance – it’s eloquence. Make it beyond easy for customers to use your products. Invest the majority of your time, money and energy into creating beautiful things that don’t require a degree to operate. And people won’t think twice about taking a bite out of your apple.
3. Be a better customer. Considering how much time, money and effort companies spend on customer service training, we’re never really taught to become better customers ourselves. Because in most of the day’s transactions, we’re the customers – not the servers. And if we truly want to have a joyful, remarkable experience, we can’t just sit back and wait for people to read our minds and make us happy. We have to help them help us. As guests, patients, viewers, clients, patrons, members, visitors, users, callers, listeners and customers, we have to make ourselves more servable. Otherwise we’re equally at fault for not getting what we want, the way we want it. It starts with expectational clarity. Sharing what’s important to us. Letting people in on our preferences. And delivering a vision of what happiness looks like. Take a massage studio. If we don’t want the therapist yapping our ears off during the entire session, we need to speak up and let her know that silence is essential to our relaxation. Otherwise we end up getting mad at her for being chatty and ruining the experience when all we had to do was take two seconds to say, “Oh, and I prefer to keep quiet most of the time.”
What have your clients taught you?
Scott Ginsberg (email@example.com), aka “The Nametag Guy,” is an author, a speaker, an award-winning blogger and the creator/producer of NametagTV.com.