One of the biggest challenges business owners have to face every day is seeing the world through the eyes of the customer.
It’s a challenge because we are people and consumers ourselves and we are living our own lives every day, not the lives of our customers. So it’s easy to fall into the trap of making decisions about our business based on what we like and want, and then projecting those out onto our chosen market as if they are the same as what our potential customers would like and want too.
It’s all well and good to like certain products and believe in them, but the wrongness of this way of thinking smacks us in the face as soon as we try and sell something to someone.
Have you ever tried to sell something to somebody because you needed to make a sale to stay in business?
It’s not a pretty sight.
Because people only buy what they want, when they are ready to buy, not when you need to make a sale.
Your office lease is coming up, and you need people need to buy from you because you need to make a sale to cover your lease payment. Is that going to work?
If you ask for their credit card so you can make your payment, are they going to respond to you?
It doesn’t work like that. When they are ready to buy that’s when they are going to buy.
People only buy what they want. You only buy what you want.
The only reason you are reading this now is because you want to. You don’t need to read this, you’re reading now because you want to read this. This is a huge point to understand.
Business owners who master their market and master their businesses understand they have to deal with real human nature and the psychology of people as it actually exists. Not as they wish human nature was, but as it exists today, in the real world.
The way we wished things worked was your product or service was so exciting to people they would just fall all over themselves to buy from you because it is the best product or service. That’s what we want.
We wish that people would refer us to others because we do a good job for them. But that’s not human nature.
Unfortunately none of that is how it works in the real world. None of it.
Human psychology, human behavior is immutable. You can’t change how people do things.
Just look at yourself. How much do you do that you actually don’t want to do? (family obligations aside) How many things do you buy that you don’t want?
So, human nature and psychology is very interesting because when it comes to spending money, people do not buy what need.
People do not buy what they need because all they need is some basic nutrition and a roof over their heads. Sometimes not even that, just oxygen and a bit of protein. Above that, peoples’ needs are pretty well taken care of.
Whether you live in a 10,000 square foot mansion or a 900 square foot apartment, you still have shelter. But is the big mansion something you needed or something you wanted?
Whatever you do, you have to understand that people will not do what they need.
And here’s a more important point about human nature for your business; people do not buy what you think they need. This is even more critical.
When you are out talking to people, socially, or even in business, how well received is it when you tell someone, here’s what I think you need to do’? How do people react when you tell them that?
Do they react well?
No they don’t. And one of the biggest reasons they don’t is because they don’t need anything! Least of all what you think they need.
People do not buy what you think they want.
The humbling reality is, the world doesn’t care what you think about anything. People don’t care about what you think they want.
And further, people do not buy what you think they should want.
You know, you have your product or service you sell, you believe in it and think its great. And because you believe in your product or service so much this leads you to fantasize that everybody should want to buy your product or service because it’s so good,
The painful truth people do not buy what you think they should want.
People only buy exactly what they’ want.
And if you really want to get to the bottom of what people buy; people only buy exactly what they already’ want.
Now this is probably difficult for you reading this right now because it’s blown apart your marketing strategy, maybe even blown apart your current business (if you have one), because the whole basis for your business thus far has been the belief that people need my product’ or people should want my product’.
You may say to yourself, “if people only heard about my product then they would want it.”
This is not the thinking that leads to a business that makes a lot of money. You may make a few sales but it’s not going to lead to big breakthrough.
A breakthrough in your business will come when you let go of your product and become market’ focused, find out what the people in those markets already want to buy so you can acquire or create that product or service, and sell it to them.