“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” - Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
Every business person should welcome feedback from their prospects, customers, clients, employees, networking partners, and everyone else who know. This would include everyone in their world, even casual meetings, but especially former customers. I have always said that I have learned something from every meeting that I have attended and every time that I have met with anyone one-on-one.
Feedback may take many formats. It can be direct, the results of a survey, answers to direct questions, or advice from networking partners. Feedback may be positive or negative. It may be welcomed, or it may be feared. It can be truthful, or it can be an attempt to sabotage our business future. The provider of feedback could be a trusted friend or our enemy. It is our job to discern the truth and the intent of the provider of the feedback.
Our clients, and our networking partners, should have our best interests at heart when providing us feedback. Our prospects may just be trying to tell us that they are not interested in what we have to offer or may not understand what we can provide for them. Customers, unlike clients, may just want an excuse to stop buying from us. Former customers may provide very interesting feedback that can be very important to our continued success.
We should always want to know why someone stopped doing business with us. Was there something that they believed that we should have done that we do not do? Was there something that we did that they believed that we should not have done? What did they believe that our product or service would provide to them that it did not? Did they just not need what we offered, or did they reach a point where it did not work for them? Bottom line, why did they end their relationship as a customer with us?
We may not want to hear the opinions from former customers, but we should consider their information and see if it means that we erred somewhere in our operation. We should take their words as information, analyze it, and determine if we need to change something, anything about our business. If so make the change; if not, don’t change anything. That decision can bring us success or mean that we will lose other customers.
Our friends and the general acquaintances that we meet may have several intentions for their feedback. They may have our best interests in their minds, but they may not be our best friends when they offer advice. “You will never succeed at that venture”. “No one makes a success of that”. We have all heard those naysayers at some point. It is up to us to take their “advice” and determine if it is valuable or not. Is any part of what they say relevant or even true, or are they just trying to keep us at their level of life?
Gratitude Marketing might prevent us from losing customers or make us gain new ones. Given the right level of relationship with everyone that we meet, do business with, or add to our world of networking partners, we should be able to obtain feedback that will assist us in building our business success. Our ability to obtain feedback must be abetted by our ability to analyze it and use what we learn. Don’t be surprised if your Gratitude Marketing brings you praise and feedback and results in strengthening your belief in it. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.