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March 8, 2009 / jasonpinto

Larry! Larry! Larry!


While perusing headlines today, I stumbled across an article about Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird.

I did not make it through more than 3 paragraphs before my world was (hyperbole alert!) officially  rocked. I read that Larry Bird only attempted 1.9 three-pointers a game, during his career.

I was fairly young when Bird was in his glory days… but still,  I saw plenty of his games, and I’ve read a bit about him. My impression has always been that he was a three-point machine! Heaving from all over the court… at all different times throughout the game.

(While playing basketball, if I ever got it in my head that I was going to “be” Larry Bird today, guess what I was doing when I got the ball – shooting a three!)

So, to read that stat…and the rest of the article, I had to admit – my perception of Larry Bird as a player was definitely off.  I have been missing out on so many of the other great things that he did.

Well, when it comes to marketing, we probably feel pretty strong in our view about our product or service. We believe we know our strengths and our weaknesses,…We believe we know what problems our product is solving on a daily basis.   BUT… we know the answer to this question – what is the public’s perception of our company?

I think you can really go in-depth as you look into this. There are different groups that you need to consider… Your customers, for one. You could break them down into long-term versus new. For example, do the long-term customers think that your support is less responsive than it used to be? Do your new customers think your product  is harder to use than promised?

What about people in your sales pipeline? Do they really know which of their problems can be solved by your company? (And if so, why haven’t they become a customer yet!) Or how about people that see our banner at a trade show, or stumble across our website?

There’s only one way to find out the answers to these questions – and that is to ask… and listen.  A lot of companies hesitate before doing this (“what if all the feedback is bad?!”).  But it’s so important to know! True, negative feedback will sting for a bit. But it will only help to make you stronger. In fact, if a customer does provide some negative feedback, there is a great positive to be found in that – they care enough to tell you. Most likely, they are going to give you the chance to fix what ails them.

In the world of marketing, we sometimes get so caught up in what we can tell the world. We have a lot of powerful tools at our disposal to do that; but don’t forget, those same tools can be used to ask our customers and prospects what they are thinking, and how they are feeling.

Larry Bird will always be known as one of the greatest basketball players ever. I knew that. But I was slightly mistaken as to what he did to get that way.

There is a chance that people are slightly or greatly mistaken about what our company can do as well. They may even have a negative view of us because of that. We can only fix that if we do one thing first – ask them.



Leave a Comment
  1. Avayaglobalconnect / Mar 9 2009 5:21 am

    The process that is used by organization to determine the satisfaction of customers. Also the process to get feedback on products/services from customers


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