At the NJ Shore, ice cream trucks still roam the local streets. Each beach block the ringing of the chimes or bells brings out running children laughing with glee and happiness to purchase their favorite treat.
Imagine if when they arrived at the truck all that was available was fruit! Nice wholesome apples, pears, peaches or a banana to purchase – no ice cream.
How would the children react? How would they feel?
The reason for bringing this information up in this discussion today is to ask you how you determine what is important to your clients and customers? And, how often do you check in with your clients and customers to make certain you know what is important to them and you are providing them with what is important to them. Often – this is easier said than accomplished!
Clients, customers and prospects are continually changing their view and opinion on what is most important to them. Speak with anyone in retail and they will be happy to describe why store layouts are changed and for those in fashion why the styles always change.
It is to stay ahead of the curve. By creating the change before the consumer determines they need the change, the retailer is still somewhat in control. When the consumer changes their opinion about something, on their own, the retailer may lose their customer forever.
In a similar fashion, anyone in a provider or service based business must stay on top of the needs and wants of their clients. The continual learning and growing to stay more than current, to stay ahead of the curve is not just a necessity it is a requirement. By surrounding yourself and being a part of the leading minds in your area of expertise, you become part of the this leading edge.
You may be thinking, “I don’t need to be that much on the leading edge, everything is fine right now, my customers are happy.” Okay, you are permitted to feel this way.
By point of fact, an entire industry in the event video space was completely turned upside down almost overnight. Technology has created the opportunity for virtually anyone to offer a high quality photography and video service including editing, adding in music and more for a deep discount for family events such as weddings in comparison to only a few years ago where ‘specialists’ were running a full time business requiring booking months in advance and charging premium prices for the service.
In every geographic region these type of businesses were shutting down. Only the few who evolved, who recognized they must offer something more, something unique, something the customer wanted were able to stay in business and thrive.
In summary, always be asking, always check in with your clients, customers and prospects on what they care about. What do they want?
Mitch Tublin is an advanced certified executive and personal coach who resides in Stamford. CT.