I’m just back from a seminar tour of 10 towns and cities on the eastern seaboard.
I got to observe up close and personal, a lot of things about my clients in relation to how they go about doing business and processing information.
During these events, I got closer than I normally do to clients unfamiliar with me and my style of marketing.
You see, couple of hundred people signed up to attend as VIP’s, this meant they got to have a bunch of things that “standard” attendees didn’t get…
For example, there was an intimate gourmet lunch with myself where they got to ask me pretty much anything they wanted as long as it related to business. I kept the questions business related because I pretty much suck at everything else and I am the last person on the planet you should be posing questions on any other subject to.
Bottom line, the things I am good at are much smaller than the things I am bad at.
There were other bonuses like the recordings of the event, reserved front of room seating, no wait registration process and early entrance to the event.
Anyway, a bunch of extra bonuses.
The lunch thing turned out to be a highlight for me, hope it was for them too. In fact, I barely got to eat my lunch at the luncheons because the questions were coming thick and fast…
Importantly, the quality of the questions were more often than not, of a very high standard and I did my best to give them a high quality response.
However, I did make one observation from this process that maybe very useful to you, in fact, it is one of the biggest obstacles I’m confronted with that keeps people away from a pile of money…
You see, people kept on asking me “My Opinion” on things. Like “what do you think of my product or service?”;, “would you buy it?”, “How much do you think I could charge for?”
Would my sales increase if I had a bold guarantee? Would I get lots of refunds? Which media is the best media to use? What type of marketing works best? Should I use direct mail?
Although, many of the questions were not confined to all of the above, there were many more, what I was being asked to do was… GIVE AN OPINION.
In the marketing world I don’t have an opinion and nor should you. You see, in the marketing world, opinions don’t count, all that does count is results and the only way you know something is going to work is to test it, preferably cheaply like I do.
Opinions to me are a bit like armpits… everyone has got a couple of them. So I expect I disappointed a few people when I declined to give an opinion , maybe they asked because I’m pretty savvy at this, either way, I know it is too dangerous to have an opinion, particularly in business, where the client or prospect is concerned.
I often ask the room “Who wants to be a marketing expert in 30 seconds or less”, that question is always met with a massive enthusiasm. The answer is “if you want to be a marketing expert, ask your clients because they already are experts”
It’s stubbornly clinging to that motto that has made me rich and that has made it hard for me to fail. You see, if you want to get rich the best way I know how to do that…
Is to solve problems for people who are willing and able to pay you money
Put another way, take people from Pain to Pleasure, Problem to Solution.
My definition of an Entrepreneur is “someone who solves people’s problems at a profit”. I even use medical terms like “diagnose”; and “prescribe”;. Even today during consultations, that is exactly what I have been doing, I’ve been diagnosing peoples most pressing business problems and then prescribing solutions for them.
And strangely, none of those solutions were costly or difficult to do.
Here is a very important point I want to make.
You are NOT your Client, you are NOT your Buyer
So what you must do continually is redefine your business from your buyers perspective. A great way to do this is to survey them, I often do this myself, I go to my list, ask them what they want, then and only then, I create the product or service that fits with their wants, needs and desires.
Most people don’t do business that way of course, most business owners want to sell you what they have got, not what you want and that often can lead to aggravation and frustration for a business owner.
In fact, I would go as far as to say it’s the wrong way to do business.
I remember years and years ago when I was buying, building and selling businesses, I asked a seller if he would let me survey his clients before I committed to buying the business from him. Strangely some would think, he said yes because he wanted to sell his business.
Anyway, I surveyed the clients, asked them a bunch of pertinent questions designed to help me make a more informed decision about buying the business and then importantly, I knew exactly what to do with the business in the event that I did buy it.
All of this was based on asking the clients what they want and then giving it to them.
As fate would have it, I did buy the business and I was totally empowered in that process, in fact I turned it around in no time flat and made a small fortune in the process…
Frankly, all without risk
I have asked business brokers in the past “Has anyone ever asked to survey the clients of a business they wanted to buy before they bought it?”
Guess what… No one has ever asked such a question. Silly really when you think about it.
Why on earth would you buy a business without knowing exactly what you intend to do with it.
Here is another example, not long ago I surveyed my substantial email list and I asked them what they wanted to know most, learn most and achieve most where the Internet was concerned.
Armed with my clients response, I then created the “Dream Event”; my clients wanted. I then simply redefined my Internet event based on the responses I received from my clients on my email list.
History would have it, the event was a roaring success, hundreds and hundreds of people attended, they got what they wanted most and I got what I wanted most, a successful event in every way.
So whatever you do, NEVER EVER EVER think you know what your clients want because like me, you will be wrong. Instead, ask them what they want and then give it to them and watch your bank account grow.
I promise you, if you do what I have just described you will live a better business life, largely devoid of aggravation and frustration and the big bonus is, you clients will love you for it.