It’s All About Me (And Other Myths)

I got a new refrigerator from Sears today. It was delivered by two guys who were friendly, courteous and clearly focused on getting a great customer review since they even told me that I might get a call and they were shooting for a “10”. This is why it’s so sad that their company has set them up for failure.

The door was not yet on the refrigerator when I asked if they could change the way the door swung. I was told that we had to call another number to have them do that. So here’s a guy, standing in my house, door in hand and all it will take is a few screws to change the way the door swings and he can’t do it.

Now, being the person I am, I assume that there are all sorts of reasons around the speediness of delivery, etc., that would cause Sears to not allow the delivery people to do this. And I also assume that they’ll try to charge me to change it since they have to send someone else out to do it. But from my standpoint as a consumer, I see a perfectly capable guy, screw gun in hand, who won’t do the simple task of switching the way the door swings after I’ve spent several hundred dollars with the company he works for. Clearly, whoever designed this system did so with the company in mind, not the consumer.

I see this same concept in place in pretty much every business website I’ve looked at. When I look at these sites, I see that the businesses have designed them with the idea of telling the prospective client all about the business. This is the business’s goal, but it is certainly NOT the prospective clients’ goal.

Recently a coaching client of mine who is a real estate agent called me to ask about how to design his website. He had done a lot of homework looking at other agents’ sites and had listened to my training programs on branding and he thought he had it. He emailed me the website of an agent in San Francisco.

It was clearly a branded site, something the agent had paid lots of money for and probably had designed by a top agency. And it was totally useless from a prospective clients’ position. The entire front page talked about the agent. The top two links were all about the agent. There was very little to make a prospective client stop and look at the site unless they specifically wanted to learn more about Lofts in the San Francisco area (the agent’s specialty as he said on multiple occasions). It said nothing about the prospective client.

This is what most sites I have seen are missing. They are designed from the wrong perspective. They are focused on the business when the sites should be focused on the prospective client. After all – prospects really don’t care about the the business – at least not yet.

This is the challenge that many businesses are having these days. They focus on themselves, not on the prospect or client. They are missing the boat on finding and keeping clients.

How about you? If you truly think about it, how does your business do from the client’s perspective? From the moment they land on your website until a year after closing, does the client feel like they are the focus of your business or the afterthought? If your answer isn’t the former, you’d better get busy changing your message and your systems, otherwise you may be surprised to find that you have become the afterthought.