September 20, 2014

Customers Are the Answer to Everything

Customers Are the Answer to EverythingCustomers are a mystery to small business owners as they usually focus on themselves. “ – Martha Hanlon (in a handwritten note to me.)

Martha Hanlon is a woman after my own heart.  I can tell that by just reading the cover of the review copy of Customers are the Answer to Everything: How to Get and Keep All the Customers Your Business.  On the back it says:

“This book explores and brilliantly illuminates the happy point where customers understand why they should choose you over and over.”

And THAT little sentence smooshed inside a big paragraph is the critical success factor that your business is missing.

Before I go on, let me say that this book is co-written by Chris Williams with a forward by Jay Conrad Levinson.  Chris Williams is the sales to Martha Hanlon’s marketing.  And this tells me that I’m going to get a full and real picture of what it’s going to take to get and keep customers.  Another thing that I noticed from just the cover is that there is a testimonial from Loral Langemeir CEO and Founder of Live out Loud.  This tells me – and it should tell YOU that the advice in this book is targeted for the “main street” small business owner.

These people are small business growing fools.  They’ve done it for themselves and they’ve done it for others.  And one more thing that’s may upset some people – they do NOT subscribe to the corporate way of doing things.  They subscribe to doing what works – no fluff, no corporate speak, nothing that requires “implementations” or “usability” or “thinking out of the box”.  This is real advice for real small business owners who are doing the work of getting and keeping customers on the front lines and not from a boardroom.

Let’s Get Inside “Customers Are The Answer To Everything”

Like all experts in the small business growth market, Hanlon and Williams have a process, blueprint or formula for taking you from where you are to where you want to be.   Theirs is called the “Customer Generator System.”  This system has three components; Foundation, Activation and Expansion and the book is organized with these three elements as the core sections of the book.

The book also contains a ton of wonderful worksheets and forms (you know how much I love those) that you can download for free on the book’s web site: Wide Awake Marketing. The site is loaded with all kinds of goodies, so you’ll want to check that out.

This is a book that you will want to “work” through – believe me.  There is customer attracting gold on every page.  For example, right in the beginning of the book they uncover a secret that most small business owners don’t “get” about understanding their customer; listening for what they are NOT saying.

This is so brilliant and so true.  We think that by talking to customers and/or doing surveys we will understand what they want – but that’s not where the gold is.  The gold is in listening FOR what’s missing for your customer.  Where are they coming from?  What assumptions are they making?

Is Customers Are The Answer To Everything For YOU?

This book is IDEAL for start-ups and micro-business owners.  If you run a retail business or a business-to-consumer business, you will see a direct connection between what’s offered in the book and your busines.  Those of you who are in a more technical or industrial B2B industry will TELL yourselves that this isn’t for you – but you will be WRONG.  People make decisions, not companies or committees.  And this is a book about how to understand what people want and then give it to them in a way that is easy and irresistible to buy.

Now, some of you might be put off by the forms and work that’s involved in understanding yourself and your customers.  I totally get that.  I’ve been working the process in this book in developing a new product in my business and it’s been challenging and tedious, but the results have been worth it.

Customers are the Answer to Everything is a book that can literally transform how you see your business and yourself.  The effort you put into working this book will pay off in loyal profitable customers and a happier you.

2 Comments ▼

Ivana Taylor - Book Editor


Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is Book Editor for Small Business Trends and publisher of DIYMarketers , where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is the President of Third Force, Inc., a marketing firm that specializes in getting your ideal customer to choose you. Ivana is the book editor for Small Business Trends and co-author of the book "Excel for Marketing Managers."

2 Reactions

  1. Really enjoyed this post. A good book I read about building your brand through your processes and procedures is “Achieving Brand Integrity”. It explains how you are responsible for every interaction you engage with your customer, and ultimately how that result in their perception of your brand, in turn effecting your bottom line.

  2. Ivana, this is an awesome pick. I like your phrase – “people make decisions, not companies or committees”, and I know small business owners will decide to read this book. It is extremely easier to get caught up in explaining what your business does, and not really connect to what customers are looking for. Even more troubling, sometimes customers collectively have an inkling, but may not articulate exactly the need…until someone shows it. “Customers Are The Answer to Everything” sounds certainly like it has the answers to everything!

    Thank you for sharing this great perspective!

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