The most important part of your businessWritten by 2017-12-31 10:14:42
My picture and words are on my site. I create and sell my own products. And I pay for my newsletter, as well as hit the “publish” button each week when I send it out to my customers.
Given all that, it’s easy to believe that this is The Paul Jarvis Show—both in terms of me sometimes thinking it and folks, like you, believing it too.
In reality though, nothing is further from the truth.
In fact, the most important person in my business is you.
I’m not trying to butter you up, nor does this article end with me pitching you a product because you’re so super duper important. You’re important because running a successful business means serving others. Not just hippie businesses (or hot-tub related ones) either, but massive, soulless corporations too (although they make the “serving” way more transaction-based).
In the last year, I’ve even made a conscious shift in how I position the products I sell. Although I won’t pretend to not have a big ego, I still have a hard time bragging about the things I create. Fortunately, I’ve found that my customers have no problem bragging for me. They will gladly tell others how great something is. So my courses are now sold by telling other people’s stories as much as possible. That’s why they all include case studies and even student interview videos. My customers who’ve bought, used and benefitted from my courses are actually now the ones that sell them.
Possibly the best part about selling a product is hearing from folks who’ve bought it and then gained something from it. I routinely do video calls with past customers who gush about how their businesses have improved in some tiny part because of insights they gained from me. I leave those calls feeling on top of the world. Confidence issues, if only for a little while, completely fade away. It’s also supremely motivating to make more things.
Word of mouth is still the best marketing. Obviously my sales page and content will say it’s good, my job is to try and sell something. But when other people are talking about it too, referring folks to it and saying how awesome it is, there’s way more trust built. It’s not just me saying buy this thing. There is social proof from others saying buy this thing too.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget the empathy required to sell (mostly because no one teaches us how important empathy is in selling, right?). If you don’t consider the people you’re selling to, what you’re selling will fall short. If business means serving, then selling means figuring out how best to serve. Which is why I happily tell some people not to buy something from me, because if it’s not the best fit, they won’t be happy. It’s also why I use answering support emails as a chance to turn frustration into delight.
It can be difficult to make your business about your existing clientele. If they’re angry about something, or worse, apathetic about what they’ve purchased (for example: they buy a course but never even log in to start the work), then you can feel like who you’re trying hard to serve doesn’t care. But in those moments, even though it’s difficult, you still have to empathize. In fact, that’s the most important time to have empathy, or as Brene Brown says, to feel with someone. In those moments, you have to take a step back and see what went wrong, what you can own about that, and try and do better.
So, how can you make your own customers the stars of your business? How would your business change if they became your focus?
It’s supremely useful to consider these questions and may even evoke pretty awesome feelings about your business.Posted in The business of freelancing