One of the biggest lies that annihilates profits is the idea that the customer is always right.
It’s actually some of the worst advice that people just repeat without actually thinking about it.
And it explains why most businesses struggle to get ahead.
For the last couple of years, I’ve always thought of it the opposite way.
It’s up to us to tell the customer the rules.
There is a great quote to this effect, from non-other than Henry Ford.
“If we asked the customer what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse and cart.”
Customers looking for service want you to tell them what the rules are.
As Kevin Roberts said:
“Most people are walking around with their umbilical cord in their hand looking for somewhere to plug into.”
There is so much truth to that, especially in our industry where there is a great knowledge gap between us and our customers.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in weight loss, pain relief or athlete development… the rules are always the same.
Your customers are looking for an expert to tell them exactly what to do and how to achieve it.
They’re looking for an authority figure to take charge.
Think about it… if they wanted to do it themselves, they would.
If they wanted to be their own guinea pig, they would.
But they don’t, because they’ve reached out to you… so it’s now up to you to take on the responsibility and be the authority figure. Like the stern parent that is firm but fair.
Your customers want to deal with successful people.
Successful people dictate the terms of how they do business.
They don’t negotiate and they don’t split the difference.
It’s why my first recommendation to my mentees is to decide on what’s an optimal commitment to achieve the result… and then draw a line in the sand and never go back from that.
It’s also why I recommend when coordinating sales calls, to never make yourself too available.
Or why I never let them negotiate on price.
This takes confidence and restraint, but, it is a sure-fire way of getting better results for your clients and, for your business.
If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself.
Take a stroll down the main road and tell me which restaurant you think is more successful.
The one where there is a worker at the door waving at you desperately to come inside?
Or the one with a line of hungry customers outside the entrance dying for an opportunity to get a seat?
Let me repeat for good measure.
People prefer to deal with successful people and generally speaking, the more successful you are, the more people want to deal with you.
It’s common sense but we seem to forget it in practice.
I got reminded of this while listening to the Strength Culture podcast this morning. Lachy was getting interviewed by the boys and they seemed to be genuinely shocked at our 12-month training commitments with our athletes…
“Do you get a lot of pushback?”
Well, no, not really. We tell them it’s a partnership and we need their commitment if we’re going to get the result and they seem to get it.
If we had taken the moronic advice that the customer is always right, we’d have no agreement at all because in the customer’s eyes, flexibility is convenient.
But that’s my point.
We don’t ask the customers because they’re not always right.
Because you and I both know that the best results come through discipline, commitment and perseverance.
There are no magic bullets and if you want remarkable results, you’ll need to make a remarkable commitment.
It’s not rocket science, but we seem to lose our marbles when it comes to running a successful business.
Despite our expert status, we cower like scared puppies at the mere thought of telling a customer they’re wrong.
It takes guts to be a leader for your customers.
But in the long run, they’ll thank you for it.
– Karl Goodman