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Talking to Your Customers is Great for More Reasons than You Think

conversationcloudHere are three ways you benefit from talking to your customers regularly:

Things mentioned in casual conversation may spark a great value-add opportunity. This opportunity can be a service that you offer and your client forgot or never knew you provided. It can also be an opportunity for you to offer a referral. It may even highlight a new service that you could provide with little or no effort, but that may be a lifesaver for your customer.

Your conversations can serve as informal research. You can learn everything from true competitor pricing (not what’s posted on a website) to industry news (how it’s really affecting them) to stereotypes and/or urban legends that you may need to address.

You may learn of other places to reach your target market. For instance, regional events and hobbies are a great way to connect with your customers. Unfortunately it is difficult to figure out which regional events are worth a second look without some insider information. And you may never know that your customer loves bird-watching unless he mentions an upcoming trip in a conversation.

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The Beauty of Starting Over

Mastering my to-do list. And by “mastering” I mean I’m starting from scratch.

 

I twittered this statement about a month ago. I had just accepted a new position in another state and my “things to do” list had grown to astronomical proportions.

 

As I looked at my list I realized that every time I checked something off I had two things to put in its place. The list that was supposed to keep me organized was really just causing me more stress.

 

So, in an effort to maintain my sanity, I threw away the list and decided to start over. I figured if, at the end of the day, my family and I had the essentials (you know, a place to live, food to eat, etc…) I was doing fine. This was a HUGE deal, because my nature is to make sure everything gets done.

 

It’s funny, but now I feel more productive. My list is more balanced (especially after reading Godin’s blog mentioned in the previous post) and includes things like:

 

-spend at least two hours with the girls (daily, no distractions!)

-read before bed (daily, sometimes this is only a magazine article, but who’s counting pages…)

-study continuity plan

-begin “green” case study

-plan ski trip

 

Not only that, but I’ve given myself a pass so that I don’t feel pressure to get everything done at once. For instance,

  • YES, I love writing. But if I can’t blog everyday, twittering is fine.
  • Yes, I would love to find some new organizations to join, but it’s okay if I give myself time to get acclimated to the new gig first.
  • And of course I need to print new business cards, but my girls will only be this age once, and I don’t want to miss it!

 

Yes, there is beauty in starting over. And to make sure I don’t get caught up in this cycle again, I’ve set a monthly appointment that says “Reel in that TTD list!” 

 

Towanda Long aka mscafe