I often enjoy watching commercials. I like to see how the big companies represent brands, convey messages, and get product messages to stick. There are great campaigns that are fun, keep my attention and make me remember the brand (right now I really like the Wonderful Pistachios commercials because I’m always amused to see who they got next. (Although I don’t like pistachios so they aren’t increasing their sales here.) The commercial that makes me nuts every time I see it? AT&T’s latest with the husband who comes home having signed the family up for something and the wife thinks it is too expensive. But she isn’t just stressed about money. We get a little window into their sick world of defunction (new word alert!) where she, not finding out for sure what he’s screwed up, wishes she’d never married him. Seriously? That’s a lot of drama for a phone commercial. And it also makes me question if she thought unlimited messaging was so expensive, how much was the thing he actually signed up for to GET unlimited messaging! I mean, at the end of that commercial he’s still signed up for something without consulting her so they are still really screwed up. And you want me to think I’m like these people?
I blew it off and went about my day but ran into several people (meaning more than 2) talking about their customers. They weren’t talking about how smart they are, or what they do right. (I know, you’re shocked) It was all about what these people were screwing up on a daily basis. And it got me thinking about AT&T. Is that how I’m seen as an AT&T customer by them? They haven’t spoken to me in over a year. These people I was talking to had more recently spoken with their customers and yet their opinion was also extremely negative.
I’ll tell you right now why I work with micro businesses. There aren’t people anywhere in the world more interesting than micro business owners. They all have a unique story on how they got started and have fascinating backgrounds. In addition, they are on the whole a really nice bunch of people because they have to do everything themselves so if you can actually help them, they are very appreciative. And they don’t have a lot of the baggage that comes with other groups of people. So if you ask me to tell you about my customers, get comfy. Or set a timer. Because I have a ball sharing their business successes with others.
So now I ask you – how do you describe your clients? What words do you use in your head as well as to others? If I ran into you at the coffee shop and asked how things are going, would you have a positive story to tell or a negative? If all these answers aren’t positive, make some phone calls. Check in with your clients and see what’s going on. I think you will find there’s a reason you work with the people you do and you’ll change your tune. Now if we could just get AT&T to stop advertising on SyFy……