“Get closer to your customers. So close in fact, that you tell them what they need well before they realise it themselves.” – Steve Jobs
Welcome to 2018 and my first blog post for the year!
Yes, I realise that it is well and truly 2018 and we’re in February already, but I’ve been busy looking at what I can provide for my customers this year that’s of real value and what will help you grow in your own growth and the growth of your businesses.
Oh…and please feel free to share what you think will help you, because I’d like to give you stuff that’s relevant, and maybe even a little inspirational. And there’s heaps of new stuff I want to share with you this year to help your business grow when it comes to video and social media marketing!
This month I wanted to talk about what customers really want. I mean, really, truly want…deep down. And I think I’ve figured it out.
You know how I know? Because it’s what I want. I’m the ultimate customer, and so are you!
So what do customers REALLY, TRULY, DEEPLY want?....CONNECTION
Simple isn’t it? But is it? How do you give them that?
In the world of business and marketing, there is so much talk about it; but they are mostly empty words and promises that fail to satisfy. So how can you provide that connection so that you not only attract the kind of people you want to do business with, but in a way that sees them coming back again and again, because you give them that connection that someone else isn’t?
SLOW LIVING…yep…you heard me… SLOW LIVING.
We can give our customers what they want by understanding the principles of Slow Living and how by applying the same principles in our businesses, we can give them not only connection, but meaningful connection.
So what is Slow Living? It’s a way of living and being where the pace of our lives slows down long enough to be present to the people we engage with, so that we form deeper and more meaningful connections with them.
Let’s face it, when we don’t have our business face on, and we think about what really matters, it all comes down to the people (and animals) we love and how deeply we form connections with them. And not just connections with our immediate family and friends, but with people that we come across each day…strangers and friends alike, and in our wider community.
It’s how they make us feel when we are with them; how we make them feel, and how they reinforce in us our sense of purpose and identity that is important. With all of that brings a deep sense of joy.
As Norwegian philosopher, Guttam Floistad observes,
"The only thing for certain is that everything changes. The rate of change increases. If you want to hang on you better speed up. That is the message of today. It could however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change. The need to be seen and appreciated! It is the need to belong. The need for nearness and care, and for a little love! This is given only through slowness in human relations. In order to master changes, we have to recover slowness, reflection and togetherness. There we will find real renewal."
It begs repeating, “It could however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change. The need to be seen and appreciated! It is the need to belong. The need for nearness and care, and for a little love!”
So this week, take some time to sit down and think of ways that you can be more present to your customers… to connect with them, and to show that you see and appreciate them. What ways can you show them that you care? Remembering of course, it must be done in a way that is authentically you.
Here are some suggestions on where to start…
- Talk to your customers (suppliers, collaborators), whether on the phone or catch up with them face-to-face for a coffee with no other intention than to say hallo and to chat.
- Write them a letter or send a card telling them how much you appreciate them.
- Thank them.
- Compliment them or tell them when you think kindly of them.
- Tell them about their strengths and how they inspire you.
- Take an interest in them and their lives by asking about them.
- Take the time to find out what they want, and what they like about your product and/or services and what keeps them coming back, and then give them more, and give it to your new to customers too.
It seems so simplistic doesn’t it? But it really can make ‘the’ difference in your business. It’s harder to get customers today. The business environment is so competitive. But what I’m observing in businesses that are flourishing, as well as in my own business, is that those who are taking the time to get to know their customers and the network of people they come into contact with; those who are taking the time to develop relationships, are getting more of the customers they want. And, their customers are coming back and referring others.
It’s returning to the old fashioned way of doing business you might say, but embracing the tools of today. And in today’s dog-eat-dog world, it’s proving to be even more relevant and necessary than ever before when it comes to business success and longevity.
So let us know how you go, and feel free to share your thoughts and experiences about doing business in the ‘slow lane’.
Have a great week!
Much love...Kerry :) x