Do Your New Customers Have Selective Hearing?

Many do unfortunately. new customers selective hearing

It starts at the beginning of the relationship.

It can be  a case of reacting, rather than thinking first.

And you may not even realise they have selective hearing until they want to repurchase your product or services.

When it happens, your business has added complexity. And it can affect your sales and profit.

Here is how it can happen and how to avoid it.

The beginning of a potentially beautiful relationship

Your business wants new customers or a special customer to buy your products or services.

So you think you will show them how great your business is to do with. The aim of course is to wow them. And they become happy, loyal repeat customers.

Or so the fairy tale goes.

So you may offer a superb price (where you do not make much money) or over service to exceed their expectations, or pull out all stops to over deliver etc. Whatever you have done is not the norm. And you expect that normal processes will occur when they come to buy again.

You may tell them this is a one off.

Sounds good until selective hearing comes into play.

Selective hearing

Unfortunately, many customers do not hear the words after “But or However”.

As in, here is the special price But I can only offer it this one time. Or yes, we can deliver it in three days; However two weeks is our normal delivery time.

When you think about it why not have selective hearing. Some may think you were able to offer it the first time round, so why not again.

They will not think of the implications for your business. They only remember you were able to offer something that appealed to them in the first place.

How to stop selective hearing

Of course, you could put offer and conditions in writing. But in the heat of a potentially beautiful relationship commencing, you do not want to weaken the relationship at the start.

The simplest way to stop selective hearing is not to go over and beyond what you do for your current customers. If they have the best price, best delivery and service and are repeat buyers, why offer something different to new customers?

This doesn’t mean you can’t offer discounted prices as a promotion as they can work in the short term. The special prices that you offer these selective hearing customers are where you offer a price that cuts deep into your margin. And it not sustainable in the long term.

Keep it simple for your business to be successful and have confidence in what your business offers. Selective hearing customers add complexity.

As always, I would like to hear your thoughts. How to your ensure your business doesn’t get into the trap of attracting customers with selective hearing?

Do you want to attract new customers using simplicity. If you do, I can help. Click here to see how.

photo: twenty_questions via photopin cc

8 Responses to Do Your New Customers Have Selective Hearing?

  1. I love that you used the term “selective hearing.” It’s so true. Your customers will always hear what they want to hear. It’s like your customers are children. Children always miss the but and the if. I agree that the best way to avoid this problem is to keep it simple.

  2. Boy have I seen this in practice. I love the term selective hearing. Customers want what they want and when they get it from the start they will expect it going forward. They ignore the fine or not so fine print. I agree with you. Keeping what is offered in bounds is very important for the business and the potential new repeat customer. 🙂

  3. Hi Susan,
    Selective hearing! I like how you put this, but it is very true. I think you’re right that this is partially because of special offers that make our businesses more complex. (Think car dealership and why so many people seem to hate the experience of buying a new car.) But in truth, sometimes I think it’s the fault of some business owners too. Terms and conditions are added to make the offer look better than it is (as opposed to spending time trying to figure out how to simply give the best product or service to our customers that we can at the best price possible.) I’m not saying that we intentionally try to deceive our customers. Instead, I’m saying we are aware that only great offers stand out in a world with lots of options. But we need to spend more time making sure our offers really are the better option, as opposed to just appearing to be. So, question for the BizSugar community. What’s the best way to create a value customers won’t be able to resist without adding tons of special conditions that make our businesses more complicated?

    • Good points Heather and you have added an other aspect to the article. Your example also illustrates barriers or friction that we can offer which are not in the best interests of businesses or customers.

  4. “The simplest way to stop selective hearing is not to go over and beyond what you do for your current customers. If they have the best price, best delivery and service and are repeat buyers, why offer something different to new customers?”

    This may work if we already charge a good price for current customers. But what if we plan to increase rate for the new customers, say, as the previous pricing plan was a ‘mistake’?

    Anyway, it’s a great article. Thanks a lot.

    • If you plan to increase your price then that is not a problem. The issues usually only arise when you discount deeply to get the business. Thanks for commenting.