As a business owner and entrepreneur, one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned over time is the importance of having a marketing perspective in every decision I make for my business.
If I’m constantly looking at my business through the eyes of my clients, I am more aware of the things I need to do and the changes I need to make to maintain high client satisfaction. I’ve gown to understand the value of listening to my clients, of being aware of changes in my industry and of being willing to respond and adapt to those changes.
Getting this marketing perspective took a while but I think I’ve got it now. And having it has made a difference in the growth and evolution of my business.
A marketing perspective is not a “thing” but a mindset. It’s a focus that makes you look at every part of your business from your customer’s perspective. Who is your client? What does s/he want? How can your company best serve that need? Success comes from maintaining this “outer focus” in everything we do. It will make a difference. Here are some examples:
Marketing materials. As you write your website copy or other marketing materials, keep your customers’/clients’ needs and concerns in mind. This will help you hone in on what really matters. You will write headlines and copy that resonate with your clients and encourage prospects to get in touch with you. That’s what you want!
Networking events. We all have to attend these things. But if you go with the right mindset, networking events can be very helpful to your business. Walk in the door ready to listen more than you speak. Promise yourself to learn one thing from each person you meet. Don’t focus on how many business cards you can distribute and how many people you can talk to. Be selective and listen to others. It will pay off.
Presentations/Speaking. As you prepare your talk, think about who is in your audience. What are their interests/concerns? What can you say to help them? Don’t focus on how you can sell yourself. If you are speaking about something they are interested in and you come off professionally and knowledgeably, you are much more likely to gain clients.
In addition to staying in touch with your clients, to stay relevant you’ve got to keep up with changes in your industry. If you’re not on top of things your message will become stale and your product or service obsolete. Consider what has happened to huge companies like Blockbuster, Kodak and Blackberry. The latter’s current struggles for survival were unthinkable only a few years ago. But they didn’t stay in touch with their clients – or to advances in technology. In my opinion, there was also an arrogance that they (Blackberry) was somehow above the fray, untouchable. None of us is – and if we don’t adapt, we fail.
Stay close to your market. You will be rewarded.
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