Scary Marketing Technique

Recently, Guy Kawasaki tweeted with a suggestion about how to market in a lousy economy. The advice was amazingly simple (as most good advice is): “Stay close to your customer. Call regularly.” I mean, it’s not rocket science, it’s just common sense. So, I’ve been calling my older clients again. I’ve been sending emails more often. I’ve got some google alerts set up to let me know about my clients.

Couple those with a commitment I made to my mastermind group (and a looming deadline), and I decided to go one step further.  I identified several of my past and current clients and sent them a simple four-question survey asking them to be honest with me. I asked:

  1. If you were to describe my personality or style, what two-to-three words would you use? (Of course, I’ll take as many as they want but I wanted this to be very simple for them as well as easy to sift through for me.)
  2. If you were to describe what I do, how would you describe it?
  3. What tool or idea in particular do you remember from working with me?
  4. Any additional comments?

To ensure honesty, I also set up an anonymous survey on Constant Contact with the same four questions.

Then — the scary part — I sent it out! Oy vey! My nerves were shot – ’twas enough to make me eat. I mean, I’m freakin’ out, thinkin’ everyone’s going to write back how I ruined their life and made them ashamed to be a human being. (Where’s my therapist when I need her?)

What did I want?

Obviously, positive, glowing, effusive feedback. However, beyond that, I felt it was important to find out what people who worked with me actually felt they received. If I’m going to be marketing — as I am — it helps a great deal, as well as adds credibility if I can provide a Statement of Values.

What did I find out?

Overall, about 25% of the people who received the email replied. I don’t know whether that’s good or not. But the comments I received were generally positive. (Of course, maybe the 75% who didn’t reply would have been all negative; however what I don’t know won’t hurt me. I hope.) Aside from the nice ego boost in reading the wonderful things people said about me, it helped me reposition what I do to fit what my customers say I do.

As example, my tag line since God was a kid has been, “helping people and organizations become more productive, happier, and healthier, by overcoming procrastion and perfectionism.” I liked it. It summed up my philosophy. I positioned me in the far more lucrative field of productivity than in “habit change” (but they’re really the same). However, after reading what people said to me, the word “celebrate” came up repeatedly. In other words, I help people celebrate their successes.

I like that a whole lot. So did my mastermind group. But “celebrate successes” is not enough. It has to be more. So, as I continued to analyze what people said, they definately said I gave them new ideas and thoughts to break out of their molds and then helped them make plans (usually via my “I Promise” card).

So, we came up with (ta-da), “I help people adapt to challenging times, implement plans to overcome them, and celebrate the successes that follow.” It’s not done; it’s a work in progress, but it’s definately closer.

And I owe it all to my clients (and a tweet from Guy Kawasaki)

What would your clients tell you?


~ by scottqmarcus on March 15, 2009.

One Response to “Scary Marketing Technique”

  1. Some great information here and some intresting points, look forward to reading more

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