I wasn’t always successful in business. I was stubborn and narrow minded. What I didn’t understand was the large audience of customers I would be serving. I thought and acted like an elitist programmer and not like a businessman. So, my revenue streams were not all that hot because I alienated my clientele without even knowing it. Sure, I am a great programmer and to this day I claim to be one of the best web programmers. However, this means nothing to my customers when I come off condescending and arrogant often times making them feel like I am belittling their intelligence.
One day I realized that some of my customers almost seemed like they were paying me more for my conversations and small talk than they were for my skills and work. This got me thinking, why are they spending all of this time and money just to chit chat? Do they just need a friend? But it didn’t click in my head yet. It wasn’t until a couple of years later, when working with a long time client and a few newer clients that it hit me.
Here is what I realized:
- We are social beings that rely on trust. For business, the best way to get a sale is to establish a personal relationship and level of trust with your customers.
- Nobody wants to just hand over their money to a cold hearted machine. A case in point being those that when faced with an online form for applying for a loan, they’d much rather call the phone number and talk to a human that speaks their language and tries to understand their situation.
- For revenue rich long term business relationships, the small talk is needed. It calms the nerves after creative differences occur and prevents one from walking away from the negotiation table prematurely.
Since discovering this for myself, I realized that Psychology must play a role in good business practice. So over time I did research into it further through various clients to test some theories and record the results. I am a huge fan of the scientific method and empirical evidence:
- In advertising, to minimize costs you must understand your audience’s demographics fully. Study them, analyze them and don’t be afraid to run experiments to learn more about them.. one method being surveys.
- Every client will read you differently. When you say a sentence to one client, she may interpret it in a totally different way than another client. So, learn to read your customers so you know the type of response they are seeking, including your tone, level of detail and facial expressions.
- Clients do not care about your past achievements, only how you treat them now.
- First impressions are everything. You have 30 seconds to impress them and make them your friend.
- Everyone is a potential customer, watch how you treat everyone even that kid at Starbucks that messed up your fancy espresso concoction.
- How your family responds to you can be a direct reflection of how your customers feel when talking to you.
- Delete and ignore, don’t backlash against trolls online.
I hope my experience and these simple tips help you to promote your business.