Do you feel like something is “missing” in your business? Do you sometimes think if you could just identify that missing link, your business would simply skyrocket in terms of success? If so, you are like most entrepreneurs. We are never fully satisfied, knowing we can always do more and be more than we are.
That mindset is partly what makes real estate investors and entrepreneurs so great as business owners, but it can also get in the way. In my business, we spend a lot of time examining how and why we do things. You’ve probably heard me talk about the 80-20 rule (basically that 20 percent of what you are doing is probably yielding nearly all of your positive results), the meaning of Good Success (that true fulfillment comes not from just “winning,” but using that experience and those benefits in ways to help others), and, of course, about processes and how important they are to getting things done and done right for your peace of mind and your bottom line.
I was doing some more of that evaluation on our business the other day, and all of a sudden, I had a revelation. Everything came full circle, and I realized I was missing something really simple when I looked at my goals and my business and my personal and professional success. I thought, “I know there are customers out there who will pay me plenty to do what I am already doing. I know if I can reach them with my offer, they will work with me. So how do I find them? How do I grab what is missing?” And then, it hit me: I just need to give my customers what they want.
Now, when you read that, your first response will probably be, “Tom, you already give your customers what they want! That is why you have customers!” That is true, but I, like most entrepreneurs, business owners, and real estate investors, have a flaw: I’m pretty creative. I think I know what my customers will want next or what will change their lives tomorrow, and sometimes those things get tangled up in what I’m working on today. In that moment of clarity, I realized that what I believe my customers want may be getting in the way of my knowing what my customers want, so I immediately took action – and you can too.
First, I made a list of all my customers, including notes on which ones are my top customers, my longest customers, my best customers. This is important, because sometimes those are not all the same people, although the groups definitely overlap. Then, I wrote down what I know about why they are my top, longest, and best customers. Finally, I asked them the same question: Why are you my customer? I followed up with, “What could I offer that would provide even more value to you?” Sometimes, the answers surprised me, and I realized that I was often trying to provide my customers with what I believe I would want in their shoes, not what they, themselves, want.
It’s an honorable thing to try to put yourself in your customers’ place but asking them directly what they want works even better. Sometimes, you may not even realize something will be of enormous value to your customers unless you ask them what you are missing. When they answer, if you listen and respond it will be one of the biggest keys to your business success.