29 DecAre You Listening to What Your Customers Really Want?
I came across this article by Mark Cuban last week. It does a great job of reinforcing that if you want to be an industry leader and improve your sales and profits, you need to provide innovative solutions instead of just incremental improvements. This where I think many Ornamental Horticulture suppliers miss an important point. We forget our ultimate customer is the consumer who makes decisions to buy plants on how they fill their perceived emotional needs, as ornamental plants are not a necessity in people’s lives.
Most suppliers struggle making an emotional connection between their products and the consumers. And, instead of providing an innovative solution that will make that emotional connection and really stimulate sales they focus only small improvements. Growing a little cheaper plant, making the tag just a little better, changing the pot to be a little nicer looking or finding a new variety that is just a bit better than an old standby, are all things that will make your products indiscernibly better than your competitors.
In Ornamental Horticulture, emotion drives far more sales and profits than logic. When listening to your customers logical requests, make sure you translate them into improvements that will make a true emotional connection with your ultimate customer (the consumer) as well, and you will be on your way to becoming a market leader of the future.
Mark Cuban on Why You Should Never Listen to Your Customers
A great quote from technology luminary Alan Kay that every entrepreneur needs to remember: “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
I’m working with a company that at one point had a product that was not only best in its class, but also technically far ahead of its competition. It created a better way of offering its service, and customers loved it and paid for it.
Then it made a fatal mistake. It asked its customers what features they wanted to see in the product, and they delivered on those features. Unfortunately for this company, its competitors didn’t ask customers what they wanted. Instead, they had a vision of ways that business could be done differently and, as a result, better. Customers didn’t really see the value or need until they saw the new product. When they tried it, they loved it.
So what did “my” company do when it saw what its competitor had done? It repeated its mistake and once again asked its customers what they wanted in the product. Of course the customer responded with the features that they now loved from the other product.