Most of us know the pain that comes with the break up of a personal relationship. And many of us have heard the lame line that sometimes goes with that break up: “It’s not you . . . it’s me!” In the world of business, however, when a potential customer “breaks up” with you, it’s really true. Why do potential customers turn away from our websites and our marketing adv advances? It’s not them—it’s us!
In some ways, business relationships are a lot like personal ones. When we think it’s all about us, we’re in trouble. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses are a little self-centered when it comes to talking to potential clients or customers.
We’ve all had the experience of being around someone who thinks that the world revolves around him. Every conversation somehow ends up being about him—even when it should be about someone else. He never misses a chance to tie someone’s questions or observations back to himself. Somehow, he thinks his “audience” will be happier—if they can just see how wonderful he is. But nobody likes being around that guy, at least not for long.
The same thing happens in the business world. People get tired of being constantly bombarded with pitches. Businesspeople are still people. They have interests and needs that extend beyond your company.
So how can you tell if your business or organization has become “that guy?” Take a quick read through your website. Look at your other marketing messages: emails, mailings, Facebook postings, etc. Does your messaging address the problems and issues that your potential clients face? Do you answer the questions they have about making their life better—or are you too busy telling them how great your products and services are?
By the way, it’s not wrong to talk about your business or what you can do. But you need to do it in terms of how it will affect the people you’re talking to—in terms of how it will make their life better. So how can you shape your messaging so that it is about them and not just you?
One thing you can do is to ask yourself some customer-related questions about your content:
- What specific problem does this address or solve?
- Is the information helpful and usable?
- Does the content sound like an answer or a sales pitch?
- If I were a potential customer, how would I feel reading this?
Another thing you can do is to take a closer look at the questions your customers are asking. Review the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section of your website. Your FAQ section can be a treasure trove of topics for you to talk about in blogs and on Facebook and in your other online content. Build your content around the things people really want to hear about. And don’t be afraid to give away a little bit of your expertise.
What steps do you take to find out what your customers or potential customers really want to know? What’s been effective in your business for turning the conversation around to what’s on your customers’ minds?