Walk a Mile In Your Customers Shoes

Following on from my previous post, this time, after having identifying that there are hundreds, if not thousands of “Invisible Customers” out there, who are not interacting, let alone buying from your business. I thought that in this post we should look at some of the reasons as to why that is.

Here is a business quote, but from a very unlikely source:
“You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
Lee Harper, To Kill A Mockingbird

Yes that quote may seem a little out of place in a blog about business, especially considering the source material is about morals, change and acceptance.

But I also like to think that “To Kill A Mockingbird” is also, like the movie “12 Angry Men”, essentially they are both stories about selling, and persuasion.

The biggest reason I bring it up here is that in both cases people are persuaded by looking at someone else’s perspective, but it is how that is done that tells the real story, especially when you are relating it to your customers.

For example: If you own a hardware store, and stock drills and drill bits – do you sell drills and drill bits? No! You sell holes. Do you sell wood and lumber? No! You sell a bookshelf or birdhouse.

It is your customer’s perspective that is important.

If they just see you as a supplier of drills and drill bits, wood and lumber – then that is all you are to them. If your staff and you are seen by your customers as a fountain of knowledge about those drills, drill bits, wood and lumber – then you become something more valuable to them – you become part of what you are selling. You become the expert, the one they seek out when they are working on that next project. (This example inspired in-part by Alan M Webber's "Rules of Thumb" book - a great read)

To help you see your business through your customer’s eyes, I want you to consider the following list of ten things your customers and you should want with every single customer interaction:
1.       Contact to your business is easy and hassle free.
2.       Finding your business is simple to do.
3.       The store itself is accessible and inviting to everyone.
4.       Your staff are knowledgeable and genuinely want to help your customers.
5.       If there is a problem, it is solved then, and there by your staff.
6.       Your staff and customers should see that you are not implementing solutions, but you are trying to prevent future problems, be that with your policies, or layout, or anything at all to do with your business.
7.       All of your staff feels valued, and their contribution to your business is essential to its survival.
8.       Your customers have the opportunity to give feedback.
9.       You shouldn’t be afraid of a good question, you should only be afraid of a bad answer.
10.     Be prepared for, and embrace change – in everything!

Because how do you know if you are successfully contacting and interacting with your “Invisible Customers” if you don’t have objective feedback.
You know if you are successful when:
1.       You take the time to find out what your customers expect from you.
2.       You and your staff not only meet those expectations, but “always” exceed them.
3.       And your staff, and customers will tell you are successful in so many different ways.

That’s why you need to be on the lookout for your “Invisible Customers”, find out what they expect from you, and how you can not only delivery what they expect – but also over deliver it, every single time.

Until next time... Keep on Selling!
This post was written by Earl Pilkington for the B4C

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