Are you in the habit of saying what you mean or saying what you think will appease your customers? Customers, and their money, are the reason your business functions While your business is a way for you to earn a living and fulfilling some sense of self-fulfillment, the efforts to maintain your business are futile if you cannot attract and maintain your clientele. So when communicating with clients, do you find yourself pandering to them, or are you genuinely trying to solve a problem? Do you beat around the bush? How has that been working for your business? There are many ways to write for your audience, from how you frame new ideas to how you use language and tone. But the most important thing is to be mindful of who you’re writing for.
Pandering to an audience doesn’t work too well for companies. Pepsi attempted to pander to social issues in the now-infamous ad with Kendall Jenner, but it came across as tone-deaf. It just didn’t seem like a genuine interest in speaking about police brutality. It appeared as though the ad was a brazen pat on the back intended to have supporters rally around them. However, it was obviously done to promote the beverage and get more sales. That is why the ad didn’t work. It trivialized something important by representing it as a cheap sales tactic.
You have to ask yourself if you’re doing the same thing. Are you truly committed to a cause or are you trying to appeal to a demographic by publicly supporting it? Are you truly committed to helping a client or are you telling them what they want to hear? This goes beyond social problems too. On a sales call, do you know the right words to say even if they don’t have any weight? This can range from guaranteeing results to pushing your own boundaries just to close a deal.
What does it mean to say the right thing? Compromising your business for the sake of sales surely isn’t the right thing. Part of being a leader, in any industry, is being firm on your stances even if it might not bring profit immediately. This doesn’t need to be a social cause or stance, but it starts with the small decisions you make daily. Are you in the habit of overbooking clients because you don’t want to lose a sale? This might make your workload overbearing and stressful. Are you willing to push deadlines or work overtime on projects for clients at no extra cost to them? If you frequently ignore your boundaries, you’ll end up on the losing end. It also gives clients permission to overstep their boundaries. Do you take on clients that are troublesome because you need the sale?
To avoid pandering, businesses need to be firm and respectful in their beliefs. It is about staying true to your business identity. All businesses can serve their customers without threatening their core message. If your message doesn’t appeal to someone, then perhaps they aren’t your ideal target.