You may be a state trooper, you might be a young Turk, You may be the head of some big TV network, You may be rich or poor, you may be blind or lame, You may be living in another country under another name. But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed You're gonna have to serve somebody
- Bob Dylan, Gotta Serve Somebody
I spent yesterday in a series of Closer Conversations – joining one of my clients and five separate customers in conversation around a variety of business topics / issues / concerns / ideas. This is not an interview or a focus group – just good, old-fashioned conversation.
It was incredible.
Over the course of the day I witnessed new business relationships formed, others salvaged, problems solved, new products and services developed on-the-fly, and overall I saw marketers rediscovering who they serve.
A lot of people have spent a great deal of time analyzing why, exactly, businesses stop relating effectively to their customers once they reach a certain size. No need to cover that ground in this post. I’d rather spend my time discussing what to do about it.
What we’re doing here is getting out of the office and having real conversations with real customers. Lot’s of them. From there, we’ll gather together and harvest what we’ve learned and see where it leads. The fact of the matter is that we do not know where it will go – but I can tell you this: These people will be vastly better equipped to make wise decisions as a result of the work we’re doing together.
The value of rediscovering who your business serves cannot possibly be overstated. This engagement has me booked solid over the next several weeks – I’ll try to update as often as possible.