You can’t please everyone so don’t even try!

Today’s article is prompted by two conversations in as many minutes. In one case an organisation had upset some of its customers by trying to please everyone. In the other case trying to please a small minority of customers would significantly increase costs and potentially open a can of worms.

In my experience the more we give the more people want. Rarely do people recognise the extra steps we have taken to help them or to meet their specific needs. They take our extra efforts for granted and certainly don’t place a monetary value on those efforts. As a result we gain little and often build resentment and dissatisfaction.

How do we avoid trying to please everyone?

Some of us are driven by our natural instincts to help people; some make decisions because they are struggling to grow their businesses and others just because they want to keep everyone happy. But if there is one lesson I’ve learned it is that you can’t please all of the people all of the time so what should we do?

  • Understand your arget market and don't try to please everyone.

    Understand your target market and don’t try to please everyone.

    Be really clear about our target market and our position within that market . Serve that market well with a really clear offer and don’t confuse that offer by making adjustments to accommodate the occasional potential customer who is not in that target market.

  • Understand our brand values and message and always consider how a decision or action fits with those. If it doesn’t fit don’t do it.
  • Charge for the service we offer. So a tailor made, individual service should attract a premium price and we should not charge a budget price for a premium service. (I’m still working on this one!)
  • Be consistent.
  • Remind ourselves often that it is OK if people don’t like what we do or want to be our customer, they can go elsewhere. If we focus on delivering great value to those who do like us and what we stand for they will recommend us to people who are like them and we will grow our businesses that way.

I’m off to take some of my own advice, will you take it too?

Are you happy with the results you have achieved this year? Do you want to make the next 12 months even better? If so you might be interested in my new Plan for Results membership programme designed to help you develop and then implement a plan to make 2015 a great year for your business. Visit and sign up to get your free Goal Setting tools.


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