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Best of ColoradoBiz: See through your customer's eyes


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As a business owner and entrepreneur, one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned over time is the importance of having a marketing perspective in every decision I make for my business.

A marketing perspective is not a “thing” but a mindset. It’s a focus that looks at every part of your business from your customer’s perspective. Who is my client? What does s/he want? How can my company best serve that need?

If you're constantly looking at your product or service from the eyes of your customer, you are much more likely to create a useful product or service. You are listening to your clients; are aware of their needs; and are willing to make changes when necessary. You understand that the success of your company is dependent on the happiness of your client.

To be successful, maintain this “outer focus” in everything you do. It will make a difference. Here are some examples:

Marketing materials. As you write your website copy or other marketing materials, keep your customers’/clients’ needs and concerns in mind. This will help you hone in on what really matters. You will write headlines and copy that resonate with your clients and encourage prospects to get in touch with you. That’s what you want!

Networking events. We all have to attend these things. But if you go with the right mindset, networking events can be very helpful to your business. Walk in the door ready to listen more than you speak. Promise yourself to learn one thing from each person you meet. Don’t focus on how many business cards you can distribute and how many people you can talk to. Be selective and listen to others. It will pay off.

Presentations/Speaking. As you prepare your talk, think about who is in your audience. What are their interests/concerns? What can you say to help them? Don’t focus on how you can sell yourself. If you are speaking about something they are interested in and you come off professionally and knowledgably, you are much more likely to gain clients.

In addition to staying in touch with your clients, to stay relevant you’ve got to keep up with changes in your industry. If you’re not on top of things, your message can become stale and your product or service obsolete. Think Blockbuster, Kodak and maybe Blackberry – the latter unthinkable a few years ago. In my opinion there was/is an arrogance there that they somehow thought of themselves as above the fray. None of us is – and if we don’t adapt, we fail. Stay close to your market.

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Gale Dunlap

Gale Dunlap is President of Standout Strategies, a company that helps senior managers and professionals market themselves more effectively to get promoted or change careers. Her career focus has been in marketing strategy and executive education for companies such as Amoco, Pfizer Pharmaceutical, the Kauffman Foundation, and many startups and nonprofits. For more detail visit www.standout-strategies.com, call 303-250-8039 and connect with Gale on LinkedIn

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