In this mini-series, we discuss in detail what we believe to be the Seven Deadly Sins that stop Business growth in it’s tracks.  You will find these lessons to be applicable in professional and personal application.

Sin No. 1: Arrogance

“The truest characters of ignorance are vanity, and pride and arrogance.”  – Samuel Butler

At this point, you have started a business or are planning on starting one soon.  Perhaps you are dreaming of the business you wish to build one day.  Whatever stage you are in, you want to exude confidence in your product and services.  Confidence is attractive to prospective clients.  While this is good, there is a unique formula that you can follow to not appear arrogant towards your customers.  As attractive as confidence is, arrogance can quickly turn prospective clients away.

First: arrogance is dangerous to a business.  Arrogance assumes you know the client’s needs.  Thus, you charge forward with a solution already in mind on how to fix the world’s problems.  There is a problem with this!  The customer has not even told you what their pain point is.  Customers and clients know you cannot know their needs without listening to them.

I will give an example of this.  Recently, I approached an electronics store wanting to purchase a new laptop computer.  I had researched what was available and had a good understanding of what I “wanted” in a computer.  I knew I did not need top of the line.  I write, use the internet, and perform basic business functions on my traveling computer.  I have a high powered desktop for the heavy lifting.  I was walking by a new computer that had recently received much advertising.  Yes, it caught my eye.  No, I was not interested purchasing such an expensive computer that was too much machine for my needs. Before I knew what was happening, a sales person was rolling through a list of features, capabilities, and options for the computer I was simply passing by.  A few minutes later, I told the sales person I was not interested in a machine capable of what he was explaining.  I simply wanted a good, reliable computer that could run Microsoft Word and manage email.

“Oh, this can definitely handle that.” He persisted.

“I understand it can after all the features you described to me,” I explained, “but I really don’t need that much machine for what I am after.”

After a few more minutes, I politely left.  Instead of capturing a sale – I was ready to buy – the sales associate succeeded in allowing me to walk away, frustrated.  He had not listened to anything I had said.

What does arrogance unknowingly cost us?  It is often said arrogance diminishes wisdom.  I consider wisdom to be the application of knowledge to obtain a specific result.  Thus, being arrogant diminishes our ability to properly apply the knowledge we have acquired.

In the case of the story I shared, the result was the loss a sale for the sales associate.  If he had listened to what I was saying instead of prescribing what he felt was the best solution, there would have been a different outcome.  An outcome that would have made his pocket a little heavier and his day more profitable.  Arrogance halted progress.

Your customers will tell you what they want

The difference between a successful business owner and an unsuccessful business owner rarely depends upon how skilled of an entrepreneur they are.  Rather, it is their ability to listen to what the customers want, and move forward with solutions that alleviate their pain points.  Never underestimate the power of listening.

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen Covey

Creative Business boasts a break from the norm of operating and managing a business.  If you’re reading this, I can assume you don’t want to be “just another business.”  Rather, you wish to stand out.  You want to be the best.  These desires are good and we can teach you underlying principles that will help you achieve your goal.

Being confident in your solution is important.  However, confidence should be gained from knowing you listened to your customers and know the solutions your business is offering satisfy their needs.  People will not hesitate to refer their friends and family to a business that they know will take care of them.

So, how do I make sure I am a business that listens to customers needs?

  1. Know your business.  What is your niche?  How will you stand out?  Have you talked to prospective clients about what THEY want?  Also, know how to inspire your clients.
  2. Know the impact to your business.  Analyze results before applying them.  I am not talking about applying “one-off” scenarios to your application, rather, gain a consensus of common pain points associated with your field and make a plan to ease those paint points.
  3. Receive and apply feedback.  This will keep the customers coming back.  If you’re receiving referrals by word of mouth advertising, your can assume you’re heading the right direction.
  4. Learn the tools at your disposal.  We offer advice on Social Media graphics here.

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