I’d like to talk with you about customers.
This is something I preach but I don’t do. It’s one of my biggest challenges.
If you’re like me and most people, you see customers and other people as tools. As numbers, metrics. You seem them as entitled brats impossible to deal with, irrational, want only free stuff, don’t want to pay for shit and are the obstacle between you and your money.
And this is true. Customers are feeling entitled to get a lot of value for almost nothing – just as we feel entitled to get their money for doing nothing at all in exchange. It’s not that their jerks. We’re all jerks.
And here’s the problem – the skill you’re lacking, we’re lacking.
It’s compassion. Not empathy. Empathy is saying “I feel bad you feel bad,”. Compassion is saying “I want to understand you, you are important for me”.
I mean, customers are used to being treated like shit, like they don’t matter. I’m surprised nowadays when I get good service. I know that if I want to be treated as a human being; I need to pay the big bucks – otherwise, I’m cattle, just like everyone else.
But your business exists only because of customers. Without them, you’d be nothing. Without people to pay for your shit, you’d have no business at all. Sure, you can create value but if nobody is paying that value, then what are you achieving?
And this is where compassion comes in – the willingness to try to understand and appreciate and treat the person in front of you like he matters.
How often do you hear from someone who wants to sell you something “I want to understand you and your needs better first? Don’t pay me now. Show me where you are and let’s see what we can do about it”. I never hear this. I don’t think there was a person in my life that had the chance to sell me on something but didn’t, to make sure I need his shit.
How often do you hear from a vendor “Well, based on what you’ve told me, you’re facing this and this and this. Let’s see if this can help you?”. Chances are that you have heard this if they use the SPIN model of selling but it’s very rare and it’s usually in high ticket sales. For a $100 purchase, nobody gives a shit about what you need.
And this is where we fail as businessmen and entrepreneurs. We think we’re geniuses. I think I’m so fucking smart and important and that I’m mind blowing. And maybe sometimes I am. But you know what’s the catch here?
Me being good as a copywriter and as a marketing consultant is useless without you as a customer. If I was a writer, yes, I could write for myself and not give a fuck. If I was a painter, I could do this too. But I’m not. I help people sell more and in this equation, it’s not my skills that matter, it’s you.
You’re the one paying for my time and my services. You’re the one that is giving value to what I do. Without your active participation by purchasing what I’m selling, everything I say and do is worthless. There is no intrinsic value to what I create, there is only the value you give it as a customer.
And I’m not telling you this to feel good. I’m scolding you because most people I know treat the customer like the doesn’t matter. It’s “what I want”. It’s “the product I like”. Everyone is thinking how to get more traffic or how to get more conversation but few people think about how making the customer matter.
And this is where the most basic disconnect lies in marketing.
If you don’t treat your customer like he matters, then you will have a business, but one without sales. And a business without sales doesn’t survive. Your customer lies at the center of everything. He’s the fucking reason your business exists. He’s the nutrition that your business needs to exist. That’s the engine of what you do – not anything else.
But let’s get back to compassion…
People are used to be treated like tools. You have no fucking idea how many people come like I owe them something for free and like I live my fucking life to help them for free. This is why sometimes I’m a fucking asshole and I reply with anger and even hate – because some asshole before you made sure this to happen.
And I sometimes… well, most of the time treat people like this too. People come sometimes with open hearts and just want to be friends and I treat them like they don’t matter. I rationalize this by saying I’m busy but to be honest, I think of what I need and not what they need too. I lack compassion. This is one of my biggest challenges and it’s something I’m trying to learn.
The same is with business partners. I have people coming and saying “hey, I have this and I want this and this and I want it because of this”. And I look at my screen or sometimes in person and I ask myself “what the fuck? You haven’t even asked me what do I want and you tell me what you want? Who do you think you are?”
I remember an example on Facebook, on a comment. There was this Indian girl that posted an arrogant post about how she needs people for her business, I think an MLM. And I explained to her that this is not how you do it – that you tell what’s in it for them.
“What do I care what others want? It’s what I want,”.
And this is how most business people think. They think of what they want – good customers, good fees, etc but fail to look at what other people want and need completely. For them, the customer is just a dollar sign and the customer can go fuck himself as long as the customer pays him.
But… your customer is the only way you exist as a business.
You sell something because it creates value for others. Even if you have a more abstract mission like saving the environment, you’re still selling to businesses or individuals that want to save the environment through your product. You’re not going to the forest and the trees will pull out their Amex and pay for your shit. No, you’re selling to another human being just like you and me.
This idea of compassion applies to everything, not just customers.
In a business, there are three four groups.
First, you have your customers. These are the people that pay for your stuff, duh. Second, you have your team members. These are the people who work for you and without which the business couldn’t run. The third are partners, other people with their own things which add value to what you do and you add value to them. And fourth you have investors if you use venture capital.
All of them are people.
I know it’s a hard concept to swallow but both Sue your secretary and Adam, your investor worth $50.000.000 are humans and as humans, they don’t like to be seen as tools. They have emotions and biases and beliefs and want to feel important and they feel hurt when they’re treated like they don’t matter.
So just like you need compassion for your customers to serve them well, because this is the way your business exists, so you need compassion for the people you work with (just because you pay them each month this doesn’t make them robots and you’re an asshole if you think this), compassion for people who work with you as strategic partners and compassion for the people who bring money in your business.
If you approach life through a filter of “it’s not what they want, I don’t care that, it’s what I want”, you’ll succeed, but you’ll succeed alone because nobody will give a fuck about you. The only way is to think what they want and need, what’s in their mind and heart and take it from there. Nobody wants to be a tool and nobody wants to be a dollar sign.
You develop good products through compassion, the use of compassion. When you think about what hurts them, what makes them suffer, you create solutions that keeps them in mind. It’s not what’s good for you, it’s what’s good for them.
You develop a team that will follow to hell and back through compassion. When people feel like they matter and that you are grateful to have them in your business, they give 110%. Everyone wants to feel important and nobody wants to feel like a cog in the machine. This doesn’t mean that you’ll treat your employees as buddies but treat them with the respect and dignity.
You develop strategic partnerships when you talk in terms of their interests. It’s not your needs. It’s their needs first and then your needs. It’s solving their problems first and then you solve yours. It’s “let’s see how your list could enjoy this” not “I have a product and I need you to promote it because fuck, I need money”.
You develop good investor relationships when… well; I don’t know. I’ve turned down all investment offers so far because I’m afraid to not waste people’s money. But I can assume that it’s when you consider what they want, their fears, their frustrations, their goals. I mean, take it this way.
You ask someone to invest in your business. You see only dollar signs because we’re all fucking selfish assholes with this. But the other person bids away her retirement. If you fail, she loses all her money for old age or her kids college funds. Or maybe she’ll get fired for making a bad investment. Or maybe she’ll miss the opportunity to invest somewhere else because she invested in yours.
You think about “give me, give me” but she thinks about all the things that could happen. And you make investors trust you when you think in terms of their needs and their emotions and feelings and not just in terms of what you want.
I suck at this. I admit it. I feel so self righteous and self important sometimes that I feel to treat people like people. And I’m sorry. It’s not that I feel bad about it but I know that it’s not serving me. It’s something where I’m growing too. But believe me, based on what I’ve seen so far in other businesses, I’m further away than most people. At least I’m realizing what I’m doing right. Most people don’t give a fuck. Most people think they’re the center of the universe and they’re entitled to customers and employees and partners and act like they have a God given right for the world to give them success.
If you want money, care about your customers and serve them instead of serving yourself. If you want good employees, understand their needs and help them fulfill those – give them the dignity and the respect to make a difference. If you want partners – focus on solving their problems and then see how you can benefit as nobody gives a fuck about what you want. If you want investors, treat them as human beings with fears and goals and an own agenda and not as piggy banks.
Do you have a sales letter that is not converting or are you starting a new project? Send me an ema and I’ll give you a free copy critique. In this
Do you have a sales letter that is not converting or are you starting a new project? Send me an email (click here) and I’ll give you a free copy critique. In this
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