A very small percentage of “the experts” predicted that Donald Trump would win the Presidency. The majority of supposed experts got it all wrong. How does this happen with such smart people who are backed by the intelligence of endless large data collections and polls? Hmmmm. Maybe they weren’t as smart as they thought they were? OR more likely, they weren’t listening to the right messages sent by the right people. (Only 50% of people have landlines and that’s where a majority of the polling info came from. Is that really good data?)
Could these drastic mistakes happen in our businesses as well? What could you be getting wrong? Do you assume you know what people want? Do you know for sure what will attract them and get them wanting to buy? Have you asked your clients what they like and don’t like, what would make them leave, and what keeps them around?
How about our employees? Did you know the number one reason people leave their job is their boss? Not the pay, benefits, or job duties. How is your work environment? Do you assume, or do you know?
You may have heard that TV ratings are down in the NFL this year. No one seems to know why. Perhaps they are getting it wrong too. Are they turning people off or are people watching in different ways? The fact that a sure thing in our world is no longer a sure thing is unsettling for some. The reality is that new trends happen, even though millions of dollars and megabytes of data are being spent and collected suggesting that they won’t happen.
I believe the way we make assumptions in our marketing has to change. We have to truly listen to our clients and prospects in order to be able to market to new clients effectively. It is what these clients and prospects think that really is the only thing that truly matters. Listening to our friends, family, colleagues, and alliances about our business may actually cause a strategic backfire. For instance, I like talking with my closest friends because we agree on a lot. But we DON’T need agreement in business strategy and marketing. We need to ask the tough questions and listen to people that are truly our buyers today and those that should be our buyers tomorrow. Only they know what is next for us.