At the heart of successful connection with the customer is the ability to see what they’re seeing and feel what it’s like to walk in their shoes. Can’t relate? Never going to really connect. Love this quote from Big Ideas to Big Results:
Denial is the opium of losers. Nothing guarantees fatal errors faster than seeing only what you want to see. Winning is all about realism, accepting truth, and acting on it quickly and more effectively than your competitors. Seeing things from the market or customer perspective, from the outside-in, that’s what matters (p. 33).
Part of the problem for many of us is that we dream of connecting with a customer that is different than the one we actually end up with. Or we’ve got a mix. We still talk about connecting with the customer we aspire to reach, sometimes we talk as if we’re already doing, but in reflective moments we acknowledge that it’s not happening. We have customers…they’re just not who we hoped they’d be.
How honest are you about your connection with the customer you seek? Is there room for a gut-check? Are you able to really see things from your aspirational customer’s perspective?