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Who's Opinions Really Counts?

How much does bad advice cost your business?? Everyone has?opinions but the only opinion that matters?the opinion?of your paying customers and those who look just like them. Whom do you listen to and how can you be sure you're getting something useful.

Ask 100 experts a question and you'll likely get 100 different answers. Now if someone has?experience serving the same audience, then their opinion may be helpful, but still not as valuable as those predisposed to purchase your products or service.

What's funny about the business blog movement is that most of what people are saying falls into one of three categories:? (A few colleagues and I like to be an exception.)

  1. Useless opinion not supported by fact,
  2. Rehash of what others are saying,
  3. Incoherent rants or self promotional copy,

To create and keep more customers in a practical self-sustaining manner, it's critical to manage the opinion generation machine. First, start with actions that you know work for your organization. This means document your existing processes, workflow, and best practices.

You will gain more from knowing where you stand than trying the latest management "how-to" -- you should test even what I tell you against existing practices. How is anyone writing an article or providing a general consultation to know your specific situation.

If everyone has an opinion, how do you know who to listen to first?? While it can seem difficult at time, it's more valuable to choose a few well-proven experts in your industry then try what they suggest than to bounce back and forth between "great ideas."

One path to guaranteed results is to start with the opinions of your customers.? Turn your customers into product development advisors by soliciting feedback on how you might serve them better, help them solve more problems, or improve their ability to grow quickly.

When you take the "customer advisor" attitude, you'll seem more responsive to customers and get first hand feedback about what they are willing to purchase. If you don't use anything you read here, you can apply this one method without any fear of failure.

No matter what anyone may tell you, your customer's opinions matter more than anything else does. They may not always be right, they might not know how to solve a problem, but they sure know what they are willing to buy. What are you doing to get your customers opinions?

/ customer-relations | product-development /

By Justin Hitt at August 5, 2005 4:08 PM  Subscribe in a reader


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