Anchor an image of an empty room in your mind.
It is filled with nothing but white chairs.
White… Empty… Chairs.
This is what it looks like when you speak in a voice that your customer cannot hear.
And, if they can’t hear you, they WILL leave the room.
I mean, you can’t blame them can you. It is in fact an empty room after all.
But if you’re patient… and if you can get just one of them to listen to you…
even for a moment… you have the ingredients for something great.
You have the ingredients for something that can scale.
So, Focus on the One that Matters
The journey to understanding your customer involves an ability to put yourself aside and LISTEN FIRST…
And hear THEIR story.
Now, don’t be fooled here. This is not necessarily an easy thing.
In everyday life you already know that you have to build trust before anyone will share their story with you.
Your customer is exactly the same.
They are after all, people too.
We forget that, in our drive to “tell our own story”.
But, Their Story Must Come First!
Jeff Bezos of Amazon knew this to be true…
“Listen to the customer and invent for the customer.”
Amazon as a company has grown in the direction that its customers pointed them to with the effective leadership of Jeff Bezos. Listening lay at the heart of this strategy and Amazon is now the most valuable company in the world.
SO, HOW DO YOU LISTEN?
It is a combination of hearing and seeing everything your wonderful customer says, shows, shares, acts on, doesn’t act on and more. But you have to be quiet enough to hear it.
And you won’t hear it if you’re too busy with your own story.
You won’t hear it if you become part of the “noise” you’re trying to rise above.
And, this is where your ability to be patient pays enormous dividend.
As you listen you will discover the things in their lives that challenge them, that make them proud, that make them worry, that make them happy.
You will discover the things that can make a difference to them.
You will discover how YOU can make a difference to them.
And as you listen for these gentle nuggets that are drip fed over the course of your journey together, you will realise that they now become interested in hearing YOUR story.
They want to hear how you CAN in fact be that difference for them.
This is How you Build a Relationship with Your Customer.
This is how they KNOW that They are the One That Matters.
This is how they’ll hear you.
This is how they’ll hear YOUR story.
One Customer at a time… until that one… doubles… then quadruples… and this sparks a chain reaction that ultimately becomes that tipping point you were looking for.
Scale doesn’t happen without insight.
It doesn’t happen without understanding…
and that first real attempt to listen.
To the One That Matters.
So, I repeat for you my Call to Action for your business today…
FOCUS ON THE ONE THAT MATTERS OR SPEAK TO AN EMPTY ROOM
I would love to hear your thoughts on this perspective around building customers and relationships with them. What has worked for you?
How do you listen?
Does it make a difference?
I love to work with businesses, both large and small to help them create sustainable business dreams... Brand and Strategy are at the heart of everything I do and that gets rolled out digitally and across any channel where your customer lives.
4 responses to “Focus on the One that Matters or Speak to an Empty Room ”
A very inspiring audio blog Finola and I love how through the power of the voice it was very engaging, I didn’t want to turn it off – I believed your message. I too have been weighing up the impact of audio and now I have heard how you have applied this I am inspired to bring my writing to life by audio. Back to focussing on the inspiration for this post, you are 100% right in the call to action for business owners/entrepreneurs. Over the years of my work I found that the focus on message is sacrificed to the overwhelm of the right media vehicle – bit like the tail wagging the dog! In a world where we are getting lost in the mire of media vehicles/platforms to use we are missing the point of the power of the message and applying more attention to the power of the media. Balance is needed.
I love that you connect the listener to the word ‘patience’ not a word that sits easy on the shoulders of the busy business owner who is juggling so much in the busy day of demands and operations. Patience takes a shift in consciousness and that is no small effort. Crafting message/s demands a shift from thinking to feeling and getting closer , as you say, to the heart of the customer. In our world the race to be successful, to get the slogan done, to have more clients/customers – this is what we attach energy to and so energy for patience is counter-cultural to the small business owner, if I may put such a strong word on it – it is often sacrificed to process and analysis. Easily measured and a degree of comfort and satisfaction comes from process. The creative process is more abstract and time pinned to this is less than it should be.
As you say it is so important to have an ‘other-focussed’ approach to how the brand/business engages. To achieve attention in a cluttered world catching the heart first is what opens the mind to listen, engage and move closer to buying. We buy with our eyes when our heart loves what we see.
Thank you for writing this inspiring blog, I really enjoyed reading it and I hope it serves to support others as they look to how their message is currently resonating with their audience – does their content and messaging strategy for the traditional/digital platforms speak to the one that matters in a way that matters.
Thank you so much for taking the time to give such a considered comment on this blog. As always you add insights beautifully expressed. I love that you understood my message and you captured the essence of it beautifully in the last sentence – does their content and messaging speak to the one that matters in a way that matters.
And also your notes about Balance and Creativity… in our journey towards balance not only in life but in how we engage with our businesses balance is critical. Creativity is a way of unleashing that. Creativity opens a door to how we think, feel and communicate with ourselves and with our customers. Creativity is not just for the personal aspect of our lives. It is the key to innovation, problem solving, communication and realising that successful and sustainable business is about humanity.
Be patient, go one step at a time, build relation even with one customer… This blog has great insights! It motivates me to be patient and move forward steadily. I like the video about this topic as well! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSI2JBZ0yVI
Thank you Ula. I’m glad the message of patience came through so well. It’s so important to pace ourselves when building a business. It allows us to see and seize opportunities as they arise while still being focused on the end goal. And more importantly it allows us to hear our customers as they show us where we need to be to serve them best.