The Customer Dating Game

I’ll assume that nobody so hip and cool under the age of 30 reads these musings of mine (not to suggest if you are reading this, you’re old and geeky).  So I’m guessing that the first thing that popped into your head upon clicking through here was the Dating Game theme song.  Come on.  Lets all take a second and hum along

Ok now that we got that out of the way, where is this going?  I got to thinking the other day about how many customer-brand relationship challenges might be eliminated if brands where a bit more selective in choosing the customers with whom they do business.  This is especially true in the B to B services world in which I happen to live.

Seth Godin talks about the end of mass in his latest book.  This concept, in my mind, really harkens back to the earliest days of commerce.  A day when local merchants served a local clientele, among whom they lived, played and worked.  Yes, with the web, very targeted commerce can occur today at a grander scale and reach that targeted audience across a wider geography.  But that is not the equivalent of trying to sell everything to everyone.

I think Neil Warren of eHarmony is onto something.  Former eHarmony CEO Greg Waldorf summed up the company’s approach to creating matches.  He said “It’s not about matching people who like certain hobbies…it’s about compatibility.  You go on the site and tell us about you, rather than about what you want.”

What if you took that approach the next time you’re courting your next customer.  In general, business has done a good job of moving from “what can I sell you?” to “what do you want to buy?”  It’s pretty evident though that this doesn’t go far enough.

The next time a prospect waves some bucks your way, spend the time to really understand, not what they want, but what they are about; what really makes them tick.  And if that doesn’t jive with what’s in your core, better off to say “I can’t help you”.

I’m guessing your customer relationship will be a lot more harmonious in the long term.  

Comments

  1. Amazing!! You're on to something here. I think you really pegged it. Perfect approach. Oh, and I remember the dating game. 😉

  2. There is another similarity to the Dating Game nowadays – customers are picking you and your products 'sight unseen' to some degree, just like they'd pick the bachelors. There is no meeting up front.

    It's all about your attitude and your answers. That is how customers will select you.

  3. Thanks for the comments. @Dayngr – and heres the thing, the most successful companies do this. they don't try to be all things to all people, or to use ability to pay as a qualifying criteria for who they do business with. Part of the challenge with public companies is the pressure from Wall Street and boards to continually grow. Bigger is viewed as better. where in reality, that is not the case at all. Returns to shareholders and shareholder value have nothing to do with mass.

    @krcraft …and also what others give as answers – WOM. there's an interesting twist. what would the Dating Game be like if the batchelors' friends answered the questions about them instead of them? thats the WOM world brands live in today.

    Thanks for the comments

  4. hello nice post there .. but i think ….
    ithinkk.. ahm its nothing XD

  5. wow dating game, sounds interesting .. but when its come to love its not a game anymore :)

  6. nice post dude hahaha

  7. wow great blog :)

  8. are you looking for this?
    http://www.themaidsnewjersey.com/

  9. its almost done :)

  10. nice blog

  11. hey bro you got it right

  12. this is it less talk more in action

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