We entrepreneurs are full of theories and beliefs about why people buy from us. Sometimes, we believe so strongly in these notions that no amount of contrary evidence can shake us. And that’s not such a good thing.I lead an online network for professional women. We don’t charge dues; corporate sponsors fund our activities. Over the years, we have produced hundreds of events, launched 80 chapters around the world, published zillions of pages of content and worked with a large number of sponsors.
And all during this time, I have picked up and evolved a set of notions about who buys our sponsorship offerings, and why. I try to impart this ‘wisdom’ to our chapter leaders when they come on board with us. For instance, I’ve said this to our leaders about universities:
“Universities make great partners for us. We have worked with so many of them. They cannot pay us, but they give us rooms for events; promotion to new audiences; and other valuable things.
Ha ha! In the last few weeks, three universities have signed on as sponsors to our network. We are happy to have them as partners, but I’ve had to adjust my thinking. Oops! I thought I knew the story, but clearly I didn’t. It turns out that some universities have plenty of incentive and budget to promote their offerings when the audience is right.
And the same may be true for your business. Do you REALLY know why your clients buy, and are you open to having your assumptions challenged? Maybe your marketing efforts and verbiage are geared to telling your clients what you THINK they want to know. Why not conduct a quick online survey, to learn more? SurveyMonkey and Zoomerang are two quick and cheap alternatives for polling your clients and asking them WHY they work with you. You may get a surprise or two.