What’s it like for would-be customers’?

The car ahead of me had stickers advertising their service.

I could tell that much because of the big lettering on the car boot (i.e. trunk in the US). They also had their mobile telephone number in big bright letters across the width of the boot, too, so would-be customers could phone them.

So I could see what they sold and how to telephone them (if, that is, I could memorise an 11-digit mobile phone number while safely driving).

And that was as much as I could glean.

Yes, there was a company name also on the boot. But the artwork was so artistic that I couldn’t read it. No sign of a website – so there was no way of assessing what they did nor how good was their work.

If I wanted their services I had to have a good memory and then phone them up and ask questions.

So even though we were in almost stationary traffic and I was quite near their car, I couldn’t even read enough to become a potential customer let alone an actual one.

What do your customers want?

It’s a very common failing. We get so involved in the design of the product or the beauty of the marketing material and campaign that we forget to ask some questions:

What is it like to be our customer?

Are we providing what the customer wants?

Are we providing it the way they want it?

Is this the best way to let them know what we have it?

We forget that selling is about fulfilling needs rather than offloading products – that it’s about the customer rather than the seller.

Their viewpoint

In NLP we consider understanding the other person’s thinking to be fundamental to being able to communicate with, rather than at,them.

That’s why all of our courses include the Perceptual Positions or Different Perspectives process.  (A short version of it is here, by the way: https://www.nlp-now.co.uk/perceptual.htm.)

Stephen Covey in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People says the same thing in slightly different words “Seek first to understand before being understood.”

Not walking the talk

The irony about the advertising on that car was that they were in advertising!

They produced graphics for vehicle advertising, shop fascias, posters, A-boards, etc.

They were in the business of enabling businesses to communicate with their customers… and their own very artistic advertising may have made them feel proud as they admired the new artwork on their car – but it pretty well guaranteed that would-be customers would…. look elsewhere.