Ever hear that old adage, the Customer is Always right. Sure you have. Well here is a little secret for today’s reader. The Customer is in need of HELP. It is your job to help them. (If you are not addressing a need, then you will find your marketing efforts will be difficult to shape.)
There is a difference with simply agreeing with someone, and treating them with respect. Someone with a need, could be right and how to satisfy that need (I am hungry – I need to eat), but they could be well and truly wrong need (my starter motor won’t work – I need a new head gasket). A solid long term relationship is built on respect, just agreeing with someone may get you a sale, and maybe another after that, but beyond?
Because everyone has heard the old adage, most people will simply fall in line with what it says. Smart people on the other hand have worked out a point of difference; they want to build long term relationships on honesty and trust. Being a yes-man does not help with either. (A good article on this is very subject is here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/tykiisel/2012/09/25/3-reasons-why-the-customer-isnt-always-right/)
This is not to say that being argumentative is a sound policy either. And there is a very sound French adage that goes along the lines of “tastes and colours are not argued over.”
So how to be respectful, and help our customers.
The whole point of marketing from the get go, is to identify a need in our target market. And then develop a product that satisfies the need. We have already begun helping our customer base before they have walked through the door.
Your product should have the clientele in mind, and so you should already understand there expectations. Your efforts need to meet those expectations.
Now this isn’t to say that the old adage is wrong, sometimes it is essential in certain selling environments. What you need to do is look at your target market and the product you are selling, and see if it is appropriate for its promotional effort.
For some more guidance, I strongly recommend this article: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/65768 which is about setting a culture of respect and trust when dealing with customers.