We are back this month looking at the third challenge we faced in our business. For those that have not been following, below is the list of the top five challenges we’ve been discussing over the last couple of months:
- Cash flow issues/Undercapitalization of your business
- No investment in a proven pipeline for new business
- Shallow dialogue with our clients
- Lack of differentiation in the market place
- Fear or reluctance to take risks or try new things
This month, we will focus on challenge # 3 – shallow dialogue with our clients. If you missed the first two, you can go here to read more – cash flow issues and pipeline for new business.
Products and services exist for one purpose – to solve a problem in the market place and to meet the needs of customers. Therefore, as entrepreneurs and business owners, we are in business to create products and services that will deliver value to our clients. To create an amazing product or service offering, a business owner must stay in touch with its customers through deep dialogue.
For years, we struggled with this and often times we were fearful to engage in deep meaningful discussions with our clients. It is particularly challenging for our business as we only get the opportunity to connect one-on-one with a good number of our customers once a year due to the nature of our business. Often times, we don’t make good use of the opportunity to engage in deep meaningful discussions to learn more about our clients – their big wins, dreams, pains and concerns. Now, we understand that shallow dialogue with clients can result in wasted business opportunities so we’re now mindful of this.
As entrepreneurs and business owners, you must walk 1,000 miles in the shoes of your customers. Not 10. Not 100. One thousand! You can only do this by asking questions, questions that will likely make you feel uncomfortable because they go far deeper than questions you’ve asked in the past. You must be intentionally and consistently curious to learn more about your customers.
The truth is your customers hold the key to your success deep in their pain, behaviour, dreams, values and the jobs they are trying to accomplish. So don’t shy away from digging deep as your next big product or service may just be a few deep conversations away. Deep discussions will not only help you come up with great solutions for your clients, it will also help build solid relationships based on trust.
I wish you good luck as you go deep with your clients. You and your business will certainly benefit from it.
Next time we will look into another critical area of running your business – differentiating yourself in the market place. Stay tuned!