People who start businesses fall into one of two camps: either they are passionate about their product/service and just have to share it with the world or they’re looking to sell something to someone to make money. While there’s nothing wrong with starting a business to sell “something”, you’re doing yourself and the world a huge disservice. By making your business goal focused solely on revenue, you’re sucking the joy from a possible “connection” with your customers.
Your customer is looking for a solution to their problem, whether that be a leaking pipe, a dress that will flatter their body shape, or a computer that doesn’t keep crashing. Their initial criteria for selecting a business is: “Is this company highly likely to satisfy my need at a fair price?” We choose “highly likely” companies based on our research (asking friends, doing research, etc.) and judge “fair price” based on our budget and the value for fixing the problem today. These are all the logical thoughts that customers consider when choosing to buy from you.
If you’re just selling “something” then your only option is to position yourself as the best choice to solve the customer’s problem.
If you’re passionate about what you’re selling, then you have a secondary marketing advantage – showing your prospective customer that you care as much about the solution as they do, and perhaps even more. You’ve researched all the options out there, only carry the best choices, and even had to have manufacturers make custom models for your discriminating needs. You want to show that all you think about are problems like your customer is having and that you’re on a personal mission to eradicate this problem from the planet. You’ve tried all the competition’s options, rejected some of them, and are still looking for better options all the time.
This is who I want to buy from – someone who’s constantly on the lookout for the next best thing and with the wisdom to find true “gold”. I want someone who’s crazy enough to not be satisfied with the status quo and the time and energy to keep testing options on my behalf. With this company, I know that I’ll have no regrets.
So, when you’re starting your company – make sure you’re your ideal customer – a person who would buy from your company. Don’t simply sell stuff to make money. It’s not good for you (or your business) long-term.