Think Like Your Customers (Not Like Yourself!)

For 24 years I’ve earned a living speaking at corporate meetings.  I remind myself constantly:  Without a paying audience, there’s no need for me!  

Same deal for your business too, isn’t it?  Your business exists due to a paying client base.  As business people, we occasionally get so caught up in what we’re doing, we forget who we are doing it for.  

We all work for other people.  To succeed, you must think like your customers, not like yourself.  

Think like your customers, not like yourself.  

View yourself and your business from the client’s perspective.  From the angle of those you serve, ask:  

  1. What are they seeing?  YOU might think it’s no big deal that your service truck looks like it just completed a demolition derby, but what does the customer see?  Is your inventory in disarray?  Are your disinterested employees playing on their phones instead of taking care of customers?  Are your offices neat and tidy or unkempt?   What are your clients observing? 
  2. What are they feeling?  My wife and I just had lunch at one of our favorite little spots.  The owner was feuding with her kid in the kitchen.  It was noisy.  Awkward.  We’ll eat there less often now.  The vibe you and your employees give off does NOT go unnoticed!  
  3. What matters to them?  You think you know what clients value but until you see through their eyes, you don’t.  You believe your customer only wants a working furnace.  But your technician was late.  And he was really pushy selling the extended warranty.   A working furnace matters.  So do many other things that you don’t understand until you view your business from their perspective.  

Need more motivation on why you should think like your customers, rather than thinking like yourself?  I’ll modify an old Earl Nightengale quote:  Every future dollar your business will earn is in your customer’s pocket right now.  

If you want to earn that dollar (and many more!), think like the customer, not like yourself.  This starts by viewing yourself through the eyes of your clientele.   What do they see?  What do they feel?  What matters to them?  

Damian Mason is a businessman, speaker, writer, and podcaster. 

Angie Carel