It’s true… at least for 99% of wannabe entrepreneurs and their businesses. Customers don’t really give a s*** about you, your product or your business.
The good news? It doesn’t have to be that way and the alternative means better retention, more sales, raving fans and big profits.
Creating caring customers doesn’t have to be hard. Today I’m sharing the psychological secret that can systematically turn crowds of strangers into hordes of loving clients. Here’s how to make it happen…
Imagine building a business where your customers genuinely care about you. They care so much they open every email you send, look forward to any phone calls and act on any recommendation you make. In other words, they’re infatuated and they consider their relationship with your business a top priority.
Sound like the kind of client you want? Then you’ll need to make it happen with:
The psychological recipe
- Sell a product that transforms people (and the way they think)
- Require a significant commitment (i.e. make it “expensive”)
- Turn away prospects who don’t want “transformation”
Here’s an example:
Last week I was invited to give a talk to an insurance & investment company. These are big corporate players – but the same principals apply, even for solopreneurs.
In the past, this firm has successfully sold savings products (per-week contributions) to people by picking a price point so low that no one could be bothered to say no.
Make something cheap enough and salesperson will have no trouble selling it. The prospect simply thinks:
“Thats peanuts! Whatever… I’ll do it.”
The bad news: These customers had terrible retention or “lifetime value” – they were dropping off and canceling their savings plans (as easy as just not paying) like crazy!
Why?… Because they just didn’t care. They didn’t care about the company OR what the investment they’ve signed up for.
My job was to help the sales people at this company realise that they weren’t in the business of selling investments… They’re in the business of selling transformation.
They’re selling a transformation of the way you (the customer) think about your personal finances, savings and investment. They’re transforming consumer debt, stress and worry into security, foresight and optimism.
Second, I encouraged them to raise the price of their sales. Encouraging prospects to contribute significant dollars towards a savings plan would help the product be perceived as significant. The client would consider it as a serious investment and stick with the commitment to save.
Finally, the company had to turn away the prospects who would only contribute pocket change to their savings… They’d have to choose only to do business with people committed to transforming their finances.
What does this mean for you?
Psychology tells us that the more people care about a product, the more they’re willing to pay for it.
The most expensive consumer products are produced by companies people feel enormously passionate about.
As entrepreneurs, this is the position we need to be in. When we sell things for lots of money… we win! Better customer retention helps too.
The secret to creating customers “who care” is to sell them a transformation. To do this, we must turn away the lame prospects who don’t want to transform… they’ll end up being more trouble than they’re worth anyway.
- Blogger Johnny B. Truant does it by transforming the way people think about doing business on the internet.
- Ferrari do it, by transforming the way people think about driving from A to B (and how cool they look while in-transit).
- Micro-lending Kiva does it by transforming the way entrepreneurs think about fighting poverty.
- The best health clubs, airlines, cell phones, chiropractors and restaurants all do it.
You can do it too.
Sell transformation, have your customers make a significant investment and turn away everyone who isn’t committed.
I try to sell transformation to all of my clients, my consulting work costs more than piano lessons (but it sure is worth it). I also refuse to work with people who aren’t willing to radically shift the way they approach business.
What transformation could you offer? Let me know my leaving a comment below…
9 Comments+ Add Comment
Peter, this resonates with me, where I work we take the view that we are changing the world for our client, through some improvement we’ve enabled for them.
Personally I’ve noticed that those clients who buy into this with us, are the ones who actually get the most benefit.
If only more businesses took the same approach.
Thanks for clearly enunciating it.
Over the long term I’d guess that those clients will also be the ones who stick around the longest.
Thanks for the comment Ben.
You wouldnt believe how long ive been searching for something like this. Through 5 pages of Yahoo results without finding anything. Quick search on bing. There was this…. Really gotta start using that more often
You are so right. I find that the tactics, the steps become secondary to the actual mind-set shifts.
Change the way people think or thier perceptions and you win every time!
Early on in my career I was grasping at the low hanging fruit, people who were there, but not really getting my message or actually “buying in” just so I could have warm bodies for “peanuts” as you say. I’m passionate about what I have to offer and I’m ready to charge what it’s worth. I hear your message loud and clear! Thank you.
It can sure be tempting to do “the easy” business and make the quick sales but it doesn’t pay off long term.
Glad you got a shove in the right direction from this post.
Love the thinking, Peter. Excellent. Low-price loyalty must be the fast-track to the poor house.
I especially like the sentiment of qualifying out of potential customers who don’t fit the ‘transformational’ positioning.
In my experience, this is one of the key differentiators of businesses that make heaps of profit vs. those struggling to pay bills.
Best, Robin 🙂
Thank you for sharing! How would a greenhorn, straight out of an NLP Practitioner course apply this formula?
NLP huh? We’ll you’ve got step 1 sorted – you definitely know how to transform people.
Get some practical experience under your belt so you feel confident step 2 and have very, very clear rules about who (specifically) you want to work with and who you won’t.
You’re beginning a fantastic journey – one that I started down many years back. It’ll be tough, but you’ll learn loads.
Let me know how it plays out 🙂