So I pride myself on understanding customers, on knowing how to research customers, what information we need to know/have before we start our businesses, how and why to identify customer drivers and motivations, how they make choices, why they make certain choices, what influences choice, whether the customer is a B2B customer or a B2C customer. I meet so many business owners that I often feel like I know immediately who wants their business to succeed and will really put in the hard work to achieve that success.
Yesterday I was preparing for a customer appointment at 4pm. I was all ready, just reviewing notes when the phone rang. I answered it myself. It was a company owner looking for mentoring. His business was about 4 months old, turnover was very low and he needed help. I spent about 15 minutes on the phone with him – helped him see a few areas he needed to change in order to improve business performance and increase sales. We then got onto what he wanted from me.
The man was looking for mentoring and wanted a price. I thought for a minute, he seemed very focused, short of money, nice business idea that needs work to take off and I thought I should help this person. Business for me is good, everything is going well , I am not actually taking on any new clients at the moment, and I thought this means it’s time to pay it forward! He really seemed like he wanted to make a change in his business. I offered him a price that was next to nothing for a few hours mentoring. He turned around and said he would have to think about it! What a learning for me! I read him wrong! What I thought was a gift, an opportunity to give back to someone who was driven to succeed, was not what he wanted. I didn’t mention it was a gift, I just gave a price for 6 hours to get some focus into the business.
Today I go back to the drawing board for a bit to really go back to consider customer needs and wants. Business Owners, do not look a gift horse in the mouth when someone wants to help you! It comes from a good place !