Guest contributor Marc de Bruin explains why knowing the personality of our customers is a critical factor in our success at work.
It always baffles me how business owners think they can run a business purely on business plans, marketing plans, financing, shop fronts (or office space) and products without proper understanding of the factors that will ultimately decide the business’s faith: the prospect and/or client.
If you still really think that a well-written business plan will get you your success (because banks will lend you money based upon it), I can tell you that you are mistaken. Keep up the attitude that your customers are just “another factor” in doing business, and you will be out of business in no-time, guaranteed.
More and more I observe business spending less and less on understanding how their primary responsibility (looking after customers) should be dealt with. Sure, budgeting is a wise move, but may never be an excuse for skimping on service and customer awareness.
Today, I had such an experience (out of many, previously). I wanted to buy a DVD in a large retail chain-store, and the hardly-over-16- teller assistant was obviously engaged in a great many matters; looking after us was not one of them. We were dealt with swiftly, but without any interest in us, and as soon as we received our change, she returned to talking with her fellow cashiers, leaving us to it.
This is one of many encounters I had with staff that are very busy, but not with the right things. Some of them even give the impression they have left their brain on the charger at home……
One of my Knowareness Principles states this: the success of your business is directly proportionate to your ability to understand, and fulfil, the needs and desires of your target market. This understanding and application is the one critical element that will ultimately make or break your business. Understanding the AusIDentities personality types and each type’s needs and values will teach you that one element.
It sounds so simple: customer SERVICE. It seems that many businesses nowadays (especially in retail) have equated the word SERVICE with TAKING MONEY AND GIVING CHANGE. In the services (!) industry, the word SERVICE generally means DOING WHAT IS NECESSARY AND SENDING THE INVOICE. Both application of service are anything BUT service, and will not serve the business owners in the long run. I’ve experienced it myself with my previous accountant. There was service in his definition of the word, but there was no LOOKING AFTER. I did not feel I received the service my “Dolphin” personality type loves to get, which is some personal contact every now and then (even a happy birthday email would probably do!).
In today’s business world, where competition is fierce, and predominantly based on price, there are mainly losers…… Competing on price will bring your margins down, and will force you to cut away SERVICE. Bad decision.
Businesses that survive and thrive will focus on service, based on the four personality types within AusIDentities, on providing and adding value to their clientele. This will allow them to increase the price for their services: when clients perceive value, they will be willing to pay for it!
Set a Landmarc:
Firstly, assess where you stand when it comes to marketing. Are you sacrificing service in favour of cutting cost? Are you competing on price more than you are on service?
Secondly, decide firmly to start implementing service oriented marketing techniques. Aim to provide MASSIVE value to your customers; or, at least: create the perception that you are. Even without changing much in terms of what you do, you can boost your profits by positioning yourself strongly against your competition. Where are you different from your competitors, and what can you do to emphasize that difference?
Thirdly, commit to finding out what your clientele’s and prospects’ needs and desires are when it comes to your products. People will only buy what they need or want!
Lastly, knowareness requires you to adopt a different attitude towards running your business. start thinking more strategically, and less traditionally. The main issue is: where are YOU different from what everybody else in your market place is doing.
Answering that last question will allow you to strategically position your business in such a way, that you will effortlessly leave your competition way behind you.
Many thanks to Marc for sharing his thoughts.
Marc is a qualified counsellor, life/business coach, master NLP Practitioner and AusIDentities Personalities Facilitator on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.
Working as an Executive Business mentor with some of the greats in internet marketing and in his own private practice, Marc is among Australia’s Law of Attraction (LOA) experts, and coaches/mentors internationally with the LOA principles in both business and private settings.
Marc inspires his clients to create “Knowareness”, a powerful state of presence that allows clients to make the right decisions at the right time, all the time. Through powerful Personality Type Profiling techniques, Values Elicitation and Business Positioning tools Marc takes his clients’ lives and businesses to massive new heights.
A lawyer for nearly 9 years in his “previous life” before immigrating to Australia from The Netherlands, Marc knows exactly how daunting taking the first step in a new direction can be. On the other hand, he also knows how fulfilling and profitable taking that step can be, and has the knack of imparting his knowledge and wisdom in stunningly simple and highly effective ways.
Email Marc at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an introductory 30 minute face-to-face or phone mentoring session!
Click here to visit Marc’s website.
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This article was published in Equipped, Fortress Learning’s free monthly magazine for success.