“If you try to be all things to all people, you won’t be anything to anybody.”
That phrase has stayed with us for many years and provided us with a couple tried-and-true tests when learning about clients, and how they may or may not see their business.
Lesson #1: You Can’t Be All Things to All People
It’s surprising how many businesses think all their customers should want to buy every last product (or service), until there’s no more on the shelf. The truth is, though, that most customers aren’t interested in most of what you’re selling. In fact, if just one or two items stick out and get Considered, you’re ahead of the game.
Customers want to feel unique (even if they aren’t). So, stop pretending you’re the be-all, end-all. And for goodness sakes, never, ever claim you have the products or services “for all your _______ needs” (that old school, generic copy line is hard enough to type, let alone see or hear). If you’re going to try to “sell to everyone,” get ready to sell to no one. Or, say hello to customer segmentation (a worthy topic for a future Blog).
Lesson #2: If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes
Many small businesses believe that if they just keep doing what they’re already doing, things will change, and for the better. Tragically, this is also the definition of insanity. Meanwhile, this head-in-the-sand “view” is guaranteed to slowly but surely doom a company.
For most of us, it’s difficult to look objectively at ourselves in the mirror. For a small business owner, it can be impossible. Why? It seems the very same traits that made them successful entrepreneurs (endless drive, rigorous passion, and boundless optimism) also serve as barriers to the humility they must exhibit in order to step back, reassess, and actually change.
Be ready to ignore most prospects so you can focus clearly on just some.
If something’s not working, find out why, and change it. Today.
Eloy Mendoza is director of marketing at Pen Publishing Interactive, a digital marketing firm in Wichita, Kansas servicing small to medium clients in a variety of business sectors that all demand proven web development be accompanied by true brand strategy.