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Amidst the flood of ads and product information bombarding customers, your business needs a strong message to be noticed.  Those businesses that take a stand for their customers and convey it with passion gain attention and succeed.

For example, in the early days of the company that became E*Trade, we championed investors’ hopes to take charge of their own investing and be on a level playing field with market insiders.  Our system development, ads, and customer service all focused on how customers could get instant results, automatic portfolio management, and analysis anytime and anywhere they wanted it.  As a result, millions of investors have become avid customers.

Unfortunately, many businesses have weak messages for their customers.  Customers don’t know what they stand for.

I want you to get your message out clearly and strongly with passion.  If you’re ready to take action, here are steps to help you succeed.

  • Be sure that you are targeting customers who you are passionate about serving.

Many businesses lose their passion and their mojo because they don’t have customers who they are passionate about serving.  Instead, they have customers who don’t fully value their products or services. Consequently, those customers aren’t willing to pay and aren’t easy to serve. This cycle tears at the heart of a business because you don’t really want those customers. If you’re not passionate about serving a customer, replace it with customers that you are passionate about.

  • Tell customers what you want for them.

What’s the result that you want your customers to enjoy?  Tell them what it is.  Use the language, “We want you to [description of benefit].”   Think big in terms of what’s really important to your customers that you can help them realize.

You can do this for any business.  For example, Google wants its users to find information quickly and effectively.  Starbucks wants its customers to enjoy great coffee in inviting gathering places.

  • Invite them to respond.

Once you’ve expressed what you want for your customers, invite them to respond.  For example, after describing the high returns in bottom line results and personal satisfaction that I want for a prospective business coaching client, I ask, “Would you like to start the project now?”

Like an invitation to a desirable party, the invitation presents an offer and leaves it up to the invitee how to respond.  Prospects like to remain in charge without feeling any pressure.  I apply my passion to the expression of what I want for them rather than to the invitation.  As a result, they receive the invitation to action with no strings attached.

You can do the same with whatever business you have.  Gather your team together and discuss what you want for your customers.  You need to get everyone involved.  For example, a law firm gathered its receptionist, intake team, and attorneys and mapped out what it wanted for its clients and how to convey that clearly to prospective clients.  They role-played how to express it and invite action in each of their areas of responsibility.  Now, they attract desired clients more easily.

  • Encourage customers to become evangelists.

The clearest sign that you have taken a passionate stand for your customers and delivered successfully is their passion in recommending you to others.  Apple Computer has survived decades of competition because it has taken a stand for computer users who value design and graphical applications.  Users of Macs, iPhones, and iPads ardently support the company and its products.  Apple has internal evangelists who promote the products to customers.  In turn, they encourage customers to attract new customers.  Focused passion sells and sustains growth while firms like IBM, which didn’t take a clear stand for its customers and passionately present it, have dropped from the PC market.

Obviously, every business needs quality products and services that deliver high value.  That’s a given.  Thriving requires digging deeper.  Taking a passionate stand for your customers provides the focus and fuel that will sustain your long-term success.

About Don Maruska

As a founder and CEO of three Silicon Valley companies, venture investor, and recipient of the National Innovators Award, Don writes, speaks, and coaches from a broad base of experience » Learn More

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