One summer, I went fishing with a friend. We rented a canoe and ventured out into a lake at dusk. If truth be known, I was mostly watching, not really fishing. But my friend was very serious about it. As dusk turned to darkness he opened his tackle box and began searching for a new lure. I watched, curiously.
Up until that moment he’d been using a yellow lure. He explained, “It’s time to switch to a black lure.” This mystified me almost as much as what I was doing in the middle of a lake, in the dark, fishing.
I had to ask, “Why would you use black lure in the dark, in what now looks like a black lake?”
“Easy,” he replied. “When fish look up at the surface of the water they’re looking towards the moonlight, and they can actually see the black lure better.”
Hmmm. Now that’s looking at life from the fish’s perspective!
How many of us are hooked on our own ‘yellow lures,’ focused more on what we sell than on what the customer wants to buy? How many companies think about what makes things easier for them (and keep using the same old ‘lures’), rather than easier for their customers? How many companies are focused on the inside/out rather than the outside/in?
When will we learn that the power has shifted from those who sell to those who buy? Customers have so many choices these days, why should they buy from you? What do you give them that no one else can? Do you keep up with their changing needs? When will we learn that we need to start looking at the world through the customer’s perspective, not just our own?
The customer buys your ability to do something for them. They buy a state of mind. When we ask them what they want to buy, what they need our abilities to be, what will make their lives easier – we get an all-new perspective. Business through the eyes of the customer, like fishing through the eyes of the fish, might just yield different results.
What is it your customer buying? Beauty? Memories? Uniqueness? Are they buying convenience, prestige, safety, comfort? Are they seeking attractiveness, intelligence, peace of mind? Are they buying speed, security or pleasure? What is the ultimate state of mind your customer is looking to experience when buying from you?
Enabling customers to buy more of what they really want is easy when you see things from their perspective. So take a look at the ‘lures’ in your tackle box. Think about whether or not they’re attractive to your customers – whether or not customers can clearly see that you have what they need. Are you selling what they want to buy?