4 Brutal Keys To Success In Your Business. I say brutal because some of these keys may rub you the wrong way - but when you step back and take a non-ego-driven look - they are all really true. Follow them and prosper - ignore them and perish.
Sorry to be harsh - but it's true.
1) You have no idea what your customers want. You cannot guess this, read it in a magazine, nor base it on what your competitors are offering (unless they are wildly successful with it). It is impossible to guess what will or will not work out in the real world. You must test various approaches, offer anonymous surveys and questionnaires. Focus groups are a useful tool for probing reactions to advertisements, programs and exploring concepts but they are very subjective and not statistically valid.
2) People do not change. Despite the craziness of our "proud-busy" world - the basic human appeals and desires remain the same today as they did 1,000 years ago. Business has changed - new products and services are coming out at an astonishing rate - but people still buy based on fear, greed, love, sex, riches, health, happiness, beauty. A fantastic book on this subject is The Psychology of Influence by Robert Cialdini.
3) People will not appreciate you or your products - unless you tell them why they should.They will buy based on what they want - and you can totally change the foundation on what it is that they want. Let's say you are a widget distributor in a highly competitive business.
Your main differentiation is that you seek out 150 manufacturers every year, you screen out their hiring procedures, their quality standards must be at a 99.95% acceptance level, their warranty is the best in the business, the service is above all others. The product lasts 3.7 times as long as the next largest competitors.
Your customers have no clue about this - unless you TELL them.
They will truly appreciate you, your offerings, and your honesty if you lay this out for them in a compelling story on your web page, in direct mail, on the back page of your brochures or catalog. Tell them what you have done for them to make their purchase the best choice - and they will buy.
4) In your advertising and marketing you must tell a complete story. This is along the lines of point 3 but very worthy of a further description. Once you get a prospective customer's attention in your marketing or sales effort, you must tell them a compelling story about your main benefits.
Tell them about the process you go through, how you have helped 4,577 people lead fuller lives, how you traveled the world to find your newest offering, and how you spent $517 on long distance fees finding the perfect partner company that looks after the 10 year warranty program. There is so much to tell - that they would have no idea of - unless you tell them.