The Allure of Strangers
In business, it’s easy to go after strangers. Strangers (people that don’t know you or your business) offer small business owners a cushion, a safety net, an easy way to spend their marketing dollars and energy. The thought process is, “There must be someone out there that doesn’t know about our business yet,” so the eager entrepreneur casts out marketing messages to the universe in hopes that they might snag a new customer
The reality is, going after strangers is the lazy approach to building your business. Fancy brochures, shinny business cards, high profile speaking engagements, exciting referral programs, TV, print and radio ads, widespread PR releases, and other traditional marketing strategies don’t create better products or services, they just cast out more lines into the big pool of strangers. True and lasting success comes from building your business the right way, which is much harder and scarier. It comes from listening and over-delivering to your small pool of current customers.
The latter approach of ignoring the universe in favor or your current customers is much scarier, it’s more personal, and takes much more effort, but it is exactly what smart businesses are doing. They know there are potential customers out there that don’t know about them yet, but they ignore them. Instead of taking the easy road, creating yet another marketing campaign, they take the difficult route of listening to their current customers, building relationships, tactfully resolving customer service issues, and improving the quality of their products or services.
True and lasting success comes from building you business the right way, which is much harder and scarier. Instead of strangers, focus on those you know…your customers.
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