Everyone thinks they know their customers inside and out. Ask any business person how well they know their customers and they ramble on about their expertise on this subject. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth unless there is some strategic angle to knowing your customer and then ignoring their needs, refusing to really listen to them, boring them to death, and thoroughly underwhelming them.
Your customers don’t want your product, unless you’re Apple, and they don’t want to hear your longwinded pitches about your superior widgets or services. They don’t want almost 100% of the things old fashioned marketing schools preach, and most companies implement.
We persist in doing all this offensive crap because it works, right? Just keep calling, closing, and interrupting and you will get more sales than the other guys, it’s true. But it is only true for old fashioned, anti technology victims of which there are fewer every day.
The transparent world of the web lets everybody get the real scoop on any business if they want it. We are quickly transitioning into a world where real marketing is based on value proposition, not on words, hype, and empty promises. Don’t panic though, succeeding in the new regime is easier than ever. All you have to do is turn your thinking around and stop trying to figure out how to sell what you have. Instead, start with the people who have a problem or need you might solve, and ask them. Don’t speculate what a perfect solution might look like. Then ask how close you can come to giving them what they really want which, by the way, is rarely what you thought ahead of time. The more you listen, the more successful you will be. Therefore you greatest skill as a marketer is empathy! It’s time to engage with your possible clients and really, truly get into their shoes.