Dharmesh Shah hit the nail on the head:
“We’ve all heard the cliche “The Customer Is Always Right”. Those of us that have actually been in any type of business and had real interactions with customers for more than 2 days have learned that this statement is factually incorrect. The customer is decidedly not always right. The real question then becomes, when (if ever) should you act as if the customer is always right — even when you know he’s not. My simple mind addresses this with one simple question: Are you a trusted adviser or a responsive assistant?”
The Trusted Adviser he explains is an “expert” like a doctor who should know when you’re doing something stupid. The trusted adviser knows you’re not always right and has the job of setting you straight. Responsive Assistants on the other hand may act as if you’re right when you’re not if they’re not experts and have little else to bring to the relationship.
Lesson: Find ways to elevate yourself to “expert” status in the eyes of your customers, and then people will respect your judgment and pay you accordingly. According to Dharmesh, “Most startups are experts when it comes to understanding their domain and their product offering.” How do you get to be an “expert”? Speaking to groups in the community or industry you serve, and getting articles into publications your audience reads are two good ways.