Want fanatical customers and clients?
Want to earn good money while doing good things?
It all comes down to R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
If you don’t respect your market, you can still earn a lot of money. It’ll be tougher, though.
I’m not talking about some mystical, “do good things and the universe will reward you” sort of thing. Even if you’re purely about profit, listen up and listen well.
Do things like ‘word of mouth’ and ‘repeat business’ make your bank account salivate?
If so, stop disrespecting the people you want to buy from you.
Respect their struggles
Most marketers are great at this.
If their product clears up acne, they don’t just say how it’ll clear your complexion. They talk about how it’ll stop folks laughing at you and give you more confidence.
You’re more likely to get the job, the girl, the raise, if you’re not worried about all the pimples on your face.
Some people scoff at that. “You’re worried about pimples? First-world problems much?”
Just because it’s not the worst thing in the world, that doesn’t mean it’s not a big deal for the pizza-faced kid struggling to fit in at school.
Marketers respect that.
We acknowledge it.
We hold up a mirror to their struggles until there’s no way they can ignore the problem.
That’s when we offer the solution.
Respect their time
When you go into business for yourself, something strange happens.
Your time becomes more valuable than ever. Every moment could be spent creating new offers, chasing new leads, researching new technologies or daydreaming new ideas.
Yet people start treating your time like it’s worthless.
“If you have no boss, you’re free to drive me to the airport, right?”
“Can I have 15 minutes of your time to pitch you something you don’t want?”
Here’s a strange truth: everyone thinks they’re ‘busy’.
Most people aren’t, though.
I remember back in university, I was oh-so painfully ‘busy’.
Please, I was made of free time.
Same thing when I got my first full-time job. How quaint that I only worked 9-5 back then…
Whether they’re actually busy or not, folks hate it when you waste their time.
When you write an email or whatnot, ask yourself: after the reader has read this, will they be happy they did so? Or will they want those moments back?
Nothing will be worth the time for everyone, so focus on your prospects.
Will they find your message entertaining, informative or with an offer too irresistible to pass up?
(Ideally, all of the above.)
When your reader thinks to themselves, “reading that was a good use of my time!” something strange happens. Whether they buy or not, they’re more likely to read the next message from you.
I receive too many emails from people where it’s all about them.
“I have a new product for you to buy!”
Great, I don’t care. Tell me what the product does for me and why I want that. Even dismissing your message as irrelevant took a moment I’ll never get back.
On the other hand, plenty of people who email me are so entertaining that I’ll read their emails no matter what they sell. They’ve trained me to know it’s always worth the time to read them.
Respect their money
Digital products are awesome. It costs the same to send someone a two-hour video as a two paragraph message.
And you can send it to 10,000 people as easily as ten.
It’s all fast, automated and practically free.
This means you can offer your customers and clients 10x what they pay for something. Why not, right? Once you’ve created something, there’s no extra costs in delivering it.
Are you selling a $30 eBook? What bonus reports, templates, podcasts, videos, guides and other eBooks can you add that’ll make it worth $300 to them?
Then, for the right person, the offer becomes irresistible.
Sure, it’ll take time and money to create those bonuses. Once you have them, though, all the time and money is already spent. You can include them for no cost and little effort.
Respect their intelligence
Don’t lie to your readers.
Don’t send them dumb emails like, “I noticed you didn’t accept my latest amazing offer. Does that mean you’re not receiving my emails? Please respond so I know it’s not a technical issue.” That’s a obvious lie, so don’t say it.
(If you are concerned about technical issues, look into your email delivery and open rates. If there’s a sudden drop, maybe it’s a glitch. Who knows, maybe you do want to ask your readers if they’re receiving their emails. But don’t do it out of some mad gambit to imply your offer is literally irresistible to everyone… )
Assume your readers are smart. Assume they’ll see through any lies you say – even the little ones.
Imagine this scene:
A man in a suit on his knees, tears streaming down his face, snot oozing from his nose, his hands clasped as he begs a woman to not dump him.
Let’s say she takes him back (not likely, but go with me here). Is she going to respect this guy?
Of course not!
Will he respect her?
As it is with love, so it is with business.
You want to do right by your customers. You want to offer them as much value as you can.
And, of course, you want to respect them.
That means respecting yourself too. If someone doesn’t want to do business with you, maybe you fight for them and offer even more value. If they still say no, you move on.
“The customer is always right” is too extreme. Sometimes the customer is legitimately insane. Too often, the customer feels powerless in their own lives and is hungry for any chance to lord over you.
You disrespect your genuine customers – the ones who appreciate your value – when you sink too much time, mental energy and money into these losers.
If they’re unhappy, sure.
If they have legitimate grievances, you’d better sort those out.
But if they’re being petty and disrespectful or the sake of it?
Politely cut them loose and walk away.