As a kid I went to the local camera shop with my dad, who was a school teacher, for him to get some photos developed for a school project.
They said it would take two weeks. He explained why he needed it sooner. They curtly and repeated told him no.
Before we left I used their restroom where I noticed a Xeroxed cartoon haphazardly taped to the wall depicting a bunch of guys bent over with laughter above the caption:
“YOU WANT IT WHEN?!”
I was surprised to discover that I was really sad and upset. To me, they were mocking my dad for merely asking for something to be delivered on somewhat of a rush.
Instead of trying to find a way to accommodate their customer, they were showing contempt for his request.
My dad and I left and went to our favorite local coffee shop where everyone knew us and treated us wonderfully.
My dad loved the place because the food was good, the service was fast and he could afford it because it was cheap.
(Just now realizing how much that Good/Fast/Cheap mantra meant to my family).
At that lunch we discussed how the contemptuous attitude towards their customers had spilled over from that sign into the way they treated us.
At that lunch my dad vowed never to go to that camera shop again.
It was with no small amount of schadenfreude that I delighted when that camera store went out of business when a new, One Hour Photo booth opened a few blocks away.
I realize I have always hated it when businesses belittle their customers (or potential customer).
I see it with media composers who talk about producers, directors and studios as if they are all a pack of idiotic, money-grabbing, tasteless, inhumane, slave-driving, tone-deaf, exploitive cretins.
Even if this contempt for their customers is only shared behind their backs, that outlook, like that Xeroxed poster, seeps into their business attitude.
“YOU WANT IT WHEN?” IS NOT A PUNCHLINE. IT IS A BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY.
Fotomax created a once-thriving business delivering photos overnight to address people’s desire to get photos fast.
And they were eventually displaced by One Hour Photo shops who delivered on that desire for faster even quicker.
Then digital photos and home printers answered “YOU WANT IT WHEN?” with “Right Now.”
A lot of money has been made by people who listen to what their buyers want and find creative solutions to deliver to them.
THE FREE ROADMAP TO YOUR FORTUNE
If the world keeps coming to you with the same set of problems, they are actually handing you a free roadmap to making your fortune by creating something to solve them.
Instead of posting memes mocking stupid potential customers (the modern version of the YOU WANT IT WHEN?! Xerox) or bitching about how unreasonable they are… LISTEN!
They are handing you the keys to your success.
HOW CAN YOU CREATE BUSINESS FOR YOURSELF BY BETTER ADDRESSING YOUR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS?