In order to be loved, you need to be hated.
If you want to build a base of adoring customers who throw money at you, you’ve got to tolerate a (sometimes even larger) group of people who despise you. Not mildly dislike, but literally “hate” and “despise”.
Sometimes it’s because you’ve gotta tell them things they don’t want to hear. Just ask any parent… children are not at all shy about letting you know when they don’t like what you say. Yet a loving parent still tells their kids what they need to know, because otherwise they’ll grow up ill prepared for life in the real world.
The best parents do this calmly, with a genuine, gentle smile, taking the whole matter in stride, knowing that their kids won’t hate them forever, that an adorable loving face is just around the corner.
But beyond this, in marketing there are people who will NEVER come around. They’ll always hate you for who you are, what you stand for, how you look, what you sound like,… the very essence of your being.
Most of them will probably never let you know, but trust me they’re there.
And a few very bitter, mean people, will make sure you know in the biggest way they can. They’ll write in to customer service, fedex your nasty notes, threaten to tell everyone on the internet what a schnook you are, and expose your every weakness publicly if they can. (By the way, I’m curious how many people know the word “schnook”?)
Not many, but you’ll definitely remember it when they do.
Beyond this, in relationship marketing the simple facts of life are that not everyone wants to have a relationship with you. In fact, overall an extremely small percentage of hyper-responsive customers bond with you to provide more than HALF the fuel for your business… usually less than 5% of everyone who buys, and only 1 in 2000 website visitors (really… read the math at the top of this letter if you don’t believe me)
The majority of the market simply ignores you.
And another minority HATES your guts.
It’s the price of success.
“What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger”
And if you do it right, the things people hate you for are the very same things which exhilarate your best customers.
For example, in Glenn’s view of the world you really shouldn’t be putting up an opt in form or trying to sell anything until you’ve studied the market for at least three months. After running dozens of successful projects myself and watching hundreds of students and clients, I’m 100% convinced it’s both faster and more reliable to engage in exhaustive market research before you try to stake your ground. (I’ve seen people try to shortcut it and fail for years now)
My best customers know and embrace this fact, and relish the idea that the vast majority of their competitors won’t be doing it.
Along those lines, here’s another truth you may not like hearing… unless you’ve got a serious head start (e.g. capital, previous success to build on, etc) you’re not going to stumble upon an oil well and build a $10 million dollar business in 12 months.
I know when you see it in writing it seems silly to even say it. It’s obviously not even in the realm of possibilities for 99.9% of the population, but you’d be surprised just how many people harbor this fantasy, and suffer from constant depression as they’re confronted by the facts.
Even building a million dollar business in 12 months is unreasonable for most entrepreneurs (though I do see it done on very rare occasion). There are just too many variables in all markets to be able to jump in and pull out 7 figures right away, despite what the gurus tell you.
What you CAN do this year is build a solid foundation for reliable and secure growth. You can work hard and watch things get better.
Especially if you’re willing to be hated… like me 🙂
Food for thought,
Dr. G 🙂
PS – If you’re not feeling hated, at least some of the time, you’re not marketing hard enough and you’re not telling your market what it really needs to know. (Give it some thought)
PPS – Are you willing to be hated? I’d be very interested to know your struggles along these lines if you’d leave them below. I have the belief this factor is a major unexplored obstacle for most entrepreneurs. Let me know below please OK?