Your customer’s attitude is your guide to how you sell and how you market. It also helps you make decisions about adding to or changing the services and products you offer. Attitude is not all about a customer’s wants, desires or needs. It is about their point of view (POV)— at least as it relates to what you have to offer them. The good news is you can choose what is the best customer attitude and POV for your business success from three options. Then you can focus on attracting customers who have the right attitude match. This will make your business a lot better for everyone.
3 Customer Attitude & Point of View Choices
Most sales and marketing books and training programs talk about “pain”. Your first attitude choice is the Dissatisfied customer who has pain and is dissatisfied with how things work specifically all the way to being angry at the world or life. They can be angry as well as dissatisfied and hard to please. Solution-type selling and related marketing to “make it better” or make the pain “go away” is appropriate. It matches their POV. Your products and services are chosen because they “save the day” and you and your staff are perceived as “magicians” or “ninja”. The downside is that a customer whose attitude is dissatisfied means that they expect “miracles” and your goal is to transform them from dissatisfied to satisfied. This can be draining and can discourage them from helping resolve the issue or delay until what you do really is a miracle or a rabbit out of your hat. How many rabbits can you have? Not unlimited.
The second attitude choice is the Opportunity Seeker. This attitude and POV may be a better customer for your business. You can choose customers who want to create or take advantage of an opportunity that you or they have identified or created. They are not talked about much in sales and marketing circles but you can see them at work in commercials. One good example is the Universal Studios “Now I’m Ready” commercial. We see parents helping their children and the children say and show that a visit to Universal is the perfect opportunity to grow up stronger and more secure as their parents want them to and have tried to do for them. But, opportunity is not limited to kids or commercials. You also see it in TV and Youtube programs (for example some cat videos that focus on cute), films and music. The best part of this attitude is that you can sell and market in ways that are positive, using brighter sounds, colors and images. The customer also helps. For them, it is an “alliance or partnership” where they actively participate and want to play a role in the success they experience after the sale instead of expecting it only from you.
Or, you can choose to focus on customers whose attitude and POV don’t include something different or better. They just want to maintain what they have; they like status quo. These are the Status Quo Maintainers (SQMs). You do want to make sure you have some of these because they are the most likely to buy from you again if only because they don’t like and are resistant to change. An interesting switch on this idea is the Choice Hotels commercial about not changing the commercial because their “badda boom, badda book” worked and no one “glows anyway”. There are plenty of SQMs .When it comes to your product mix, all you have to do is go back to the disaster over New Coke® in April 1985 when the tried and true formula of Coca Cola® was changed. No joke, regular Coke drinkers left in droves until their old favorite with the original recipe, renamed Coke Classic®, came back. But what also happened is those who liked what they were used to switched to Dr. Pepper®. Even though this happened more than 30 years ago, it is still a cautionary tale to keep in mind as you get tired of offering certain products and services or someone tries to sell you on a new marketing campaign.
How do you choose which attitude and point of view is right for your business?
Here’s what I recommend for my clients and for you as you are working on your business model to start or grow:
- Examine your own attitude. Are you a person who is “glass half full or half empty”. Do you like being a hero/heroine or prefer to have customers help? Are you someone who prefers the tried and true — no changes but maybe a few enhancements? It is generally better to match than to be different. People do business they like and trust. Attitude is a big part of that.
- What are you like? Do you get bored easily? You can always find a better solution for those who are dissatisfied or create new opportunities for those who know there is a better way out there and they can take advantage of it if they find it. If you want a calmer life and business, those Status Quo Maintainers, might be just right.
- Look at your current product and service offerings. Do they match your attitude, interests, opinion, and lifestyle? Psychographics is not only good for understanding customers but also for understanding you, your team, vendors, and others involved in your selling and marketing efforts.
- Now, consider your pricing. Does it fit with the attitude you chose? Pricing for value and not just for cost plus is the best option unless you are going for Status Quo Maintainers. Both customers who are dissatisfied or Opportunity Seekers will pay more if they get what they want — not just what they need.
- Finally, look at your sales and marketing processes and all your communication touch points. Are you attracting and keeping customers with the attitude you prefer? If not, it doesn’t take a crystal ball to know there are changes in your future.
In the end, you will have some of each. But, focus on the right attitude and maybe the world won’t beat a path to your door but they will be in step with you. This makes your business more profitable, efficient and even enjoyable.
Here’s to your success!