Who Are You to Your Customer?

by Thomas Frasher on July 28, 2009

Three distinct “Listenings” exist when talking to your customers:

1. What is said?

2. What is heard?

3. What is meant?

In the 1970’s there a humorous saying circulated that went something like: “I know you think you heard what I said, I’m not sure you understand that what you heard is not what I meant!”

I remember my parents laughing about how “true” that statement was. It has particular relevance in the business market place now, especially for small business owners and would-be start-ups.

Knowing who your customer thinks you are and what situations you can help them is extremely important, and not just what products and services you offer.  As entrepreneurs we bring about certain situations for our customers, clients, and friends and family, we can’t help it. Those situations can either be good, bad or indifferent.  We need to know what situation we represent to our customers and make sure it matches the identity or brand that we want to present.

If the future that we represent to our customers is a positive one then we have the opportunity to work with that customer more often and generate even more positive experiences that will reinforce the positive future, same for the negative, with obvious catastrophic consequences.  If our customer is indifferent to what we offer though, we fall into that gray, non-descript area “with everyone else”. By this I mean that our offer is easily available and is essentially identical, or perceived to be identical to all similar offers in our market space. This results in the customer choosing the lowest price for the product or service.

Positive offers have value, indifferent offers have prices. Make sure that you are a positive offer to your customers.

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