|How many times have you thought "We need more customers!"
If you find that you often feel that your company needs more customers, then consider this...
There is a common belief held by most business owners, managers, and sales teams that all of their business problems would be solved if they could just figure out the secret to "finding and getting more customers."
And, that is their biggest mistake!
The never-ending search for more customers requires an abundance of people, time, and money... resources which are usually in short supply in most companies. In such an environment, the effort put forth to "find" customers is actually depleting the business of its energy, creativity, and enthusiasm...commodities required to serve these customers in a satisfying way. And, since dissatisfied customers do not return, the business must keep finding more customers to replace those they have lost.
So, with each repetition of the cycle, the company has less and less ability to provide the level of service that would satisfy the types of customers it originally intended to serve. So, the number of complaints the business receives continues to increase...and eventually, the complaints outweigh the compliments. The word spreads throughout the community. It becomes harder to find customers to serve. Debts then exceed profits. The business fails.
Conversely, those 15% that succeed have structured their company in a way that "attracts" only perfect customers and clients.
Companies must replace the thought "We need more customers" with the conviction that "We now attract only perfect customers."
What's the difference?
It's the difference between a successful business and one that struggles to survive. It's the difference between a profitable business and one that pinches pennies. It's the difference between a thriving business and one that is hanging on by a thread.
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR CUSTOMERS TO SERVE, YOU'LL FIND "CUSTOMERS FROM HELL"
Most people agree that looking for customers to serve requires a lot of energy. First, you must figure out where you are most likely to find the greatest number of customers. And, then you must spend more time and money experimenting with the right way to catch their attention. By the time you have actually found someone who is willing to try what you have to give them, your company has exhausted its energy!
So, when this customer tells you that they are not completely satisfied with your products, your policies, or your pricing, you are more than willing to make compromises to satisfy them ... truth be known, you are simply too tired to put up a fight. Perhaps, thinking that you have won the war, you feel you can afford to let them win these smaller conflicts...especially in light of what it would cost to go out and hunt down another customer to replace this one.
Yet, if your company had more strength and solvency, you might be more willing to listen to the tiny inner voice that says, "Be careful...this one could be more trouble than their worth. This is a customer from hell."
You ignore the voice because of the need to make back the money spent on marketing and sales programs. Or, you convince yourself that these customers must be perfect for your company or you are afraid that you will lose this customer to the competition.
Inevitably, though, the voice turns out to be right. By the time you end your tortured relationship with this customer, you feel that no amount of money in the world would have been enough to compensate us for the cost of the experience.
This is the result when you create marketing campaigns or promotional strategies that fail to clearly convey the bright light of your unique business distinctions; you find customers that other businesses should be serving.
THE LIGHTHOUSE TEST
So, how can you tell if your company is structured to "attract" perfect customers to serve?
Here is the "Lighthouse Test."
Imagine a lighthouse standing strong and erect on the rocky shores of a beautiful ocean. On this particular day, the water is calm, the sky is blue, and there are many boats out to sea. Yet, out in the distance, there is a storm cloud forming on the horizon. It is coming closer to shore very quickly. The sky is getting darker, the waves are getting rougher, and many of the boats are being tossed about on the water. As the rains and the winds pick up strength, so does the power of the beam of light emanating from the lighthouse. Some of the boats, anxious to move quickly to a quiet and protective harbor, are relying on this beam of light to guide them safely to the spot. The darker the skies become, the brighter the light shines.
Notice that not all of the boats are in need of this beam of light to guide them to safety. Some have more confident captains and crew, while other boats have equipment that can handle the storm effectively.
Now, imagine that the lighthouse gets upset because some of the boats are choosing not to come to its harbor. Because it wants to protect and serve all of the boats in the sea, it sprouts arms and legs and begins running up and down the beach, waving its arms, doing its best to catch the attention of all the boats. What would be the result?
Most likely, the boats that were depending on the light to guide them would by now have been destroyed in the chaos and confusion caused by the light moving up and down the beach Other boats, led by their curiosity, may come closer to shore to get a better look at the spectacle of a lighthouse running up and down the shore, and then head back out to deeper waters. While others would be perfectly content to stay where they are...out at sea. The end result, very few boats are served safely and securely.
The test lies in asking yourself what percentage of time is your company the lighthouse standing securely on the shore attracting the boats (customers) with the power of its light and how often is it running up and down the beach looking for boats (customers) to serve?
PERFECT CUSTOMERS COME RIGHT TO YOUR SHORE
Take a moment to recall one of your most perfect customers -- someone with whom you most enjoy working. The customer you describe as perfect is most likely the one who respects and values your time, trusts your company to have his or her best interests at heart, comes to your site with realistic expectations, happily pays what your product or service is worth, and refers your business to their friends and family. Perfect customers make you feel needed, appreciated, respected, and understood. Even more, they reconnect you with the passion and purpose that puts joy in your work. And, when you think about it, these perfect customers often find your site easily; there was an immediate spark of attraction and connection with this client as if synchronicity brought you together at the perfect time and place.
The key to ensuring that your company is only attracting the most perfect customers lies in the asking of four simple questions which comprise a Strategic Attraction Plan:
1. What Are the Qualities of My Most Perfect Customers?
2. What Makes My Perfect Customers Tick?
3. What Do I Want My Perfect Customers To Expect Of My Web site?
4. What Do I Have To Improve?
The daily review for just five minutes of these four questions is what will keep you connected to your company's mission and purpose. It's this connection which powers the light of your message and draws customers who are a perfect fit for that message right to your shore.
Proponents of the Strategic Attraction Planning Process are growing in numbers quickly. As Robert Allen, author of Multiple Streams of Income, www.multiplestreamsofincome.com, reports "this is a simple and effective method for bringing perfect customers right to your doors and web sites."
Copyright 2001, PerfectCustomers Unlimited.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hall and Brogniez are the catalysts for the new Strategic Attraction Planning Process. Through this paradigm-shifting methodology, hundreds of corporate executives, entrepreneurs, as well as sales and training teams, have been transformed into powerful magnets that quickly and easily attract the most perfect and profitable customers to their doors. Their book, "Attracting Perfect Customers...The Power of Strategic Synchronicity," is available at www.perfectcustomer.com .
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