It’s easy to blame those idiot customers for not being smart enough or willing to work hard enough to do business with you.
You know – the idiot customers who aren’t SMART enough to properly spell your Eastern European last name which you use as your domain name.
The idiot customers who aren’t SMART enough to search for your business by name – and instead they’re searching for a solution to their problems.
The idiot customers who still call and ask the VERY questions answered on the FAQ page of your web site.
The idiot customers who call and ask for directions when there’s a map right there on the web site under “more information”.
What are you willing to do to earn their business?
One of the key elements I bring to my clients is an objective “outside eye”. Often, my input will ruffle some feathers – because in the end – I can’t make your customers “smarter” or “prettier”. Often – I find myself delivering this nugget of wisdom:
Your customers are NOT idiots – really. (Check out “Business Building Secret: People are pretty smart” for more on this.)
We can spend shit loads of money trying to influence customer behavior or we can go the quicker, easier and more profitable route which is to change how YOU ARE doing things rather than trying to change how YOUR CUSTOMERS are doing things.
If you’re waiting for your customers to make it easy on YOU to take their money- well – good luck with that. The worm doesn’t find it’s way to the early bird – it’s the other way around.
Something triggers the call…. maybe the “problem” has been niggling at you for weeks or months. Perhaps it’s visited you in your dreams. Something isn’t RIGHT and it needs to GET RIGHT – the sooner the better.
“Our web site is getting lots of hits – but no one is buying” – is just one sign that SOMETHING isn’t right.
That’s why you call in outside help – an objective eye – to see what you can’t see. Just don’t expect the answer to be, “You’re doing EVERYTHING right – you just need better and smarter customers.”
So assuming that you KNOW something’s wrong – and that what needs to change is on your end – where do you begin?
It would be easy to see the forest if you just weren’t surrounded by all these damned trees!
Begin with this – you don’t know what you don’t know.
If you did know – you wouldn’t need outside help.
Here’s the catch 22 – when you don’t know what you don’t know – how can you tell the difference between someone who really DOES know – and someone who just knows a little bit more than you do?
There was a time when finding out how much an “expert” knew meant sitting down – either in person or on the phone – and talking to them. You ask questions, the expert answers and you try to discern whether this “expert” can solve your problem.
However, and this is where “experts get frustrated, often as a potential client -it’s hard to get “up to speed” in a single 30-60 minute conversation. So – the prospective client meets with SEVERAL “experts” – asking questions and comparing answers. It’s all part of the process of educating themselves to the point of being able to MAKE a decision but from the experts point of view – these people are wasting time and time is what most experts are selling.
However – there is a way for experts to circumvent the time consuming client education process. Instead of sitting down with individuals – answering the same questions over and over – the expert can begin blogging.
About a year ago – I began to notice something about my “new client” conversations – the people who were calling had read my blog. Because of this, they were calling me at a later point in the “decision making process”. Instead of getting tire kickers – I was getting people ready to sign up to work with me.
I recently had a tire kicker conversation – from someone who hadn’t read my blog. I found myself – in the conversation – directing these people to various blog posts to answer their questions. That conversation reminded me of the “old days” before my blog – the days when I spent a LOT of time with “tire kickers”… trying to bring them up to speed as quickly as possible.
What are you willing to do get their money? Are you willing to make the investment of time and effort to educate your prospective customers with your blog?