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So what do you want?

June 22, 2012

It’s Friday. It’s summer. It’s hot. Let’s keep it light today…

I love this scene from “Field of Dreams” between Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones that I stole from another blog:

Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner): So what do you want?

Terence Mann (James Earl Jones): I want them to stop looking to me for answers, begging me to speak again, write again, be a leader. I want them to start thinking for themselves. I want my privacy.

Ray Kinsella: No, I mean, what do you WANT? [Gestures to the Fenway Park concession stand they’re in front of]

Terence Mann: Oh. Dog and a beer.

I love the scene for the late 80’s Fenway Park backdrop, the chemistry between the two actors, and the magic of the words leading up to a punchline about the sometimes absurd nature of human communication. “No, I mean, what do you WANT?” That question is critical, whether at a concession stand, sharing a relationship, writing a blog, or delivering a product or service. Those last two are addressed in a post titled, The #1 Reason Why Most Blogs and Businesses Fail (And The 3 Questions You Need to Answer to Save Yours). In it, there’s a quote that nails it for me:

“You must offer what your potential clients want to buy, not what you want to sell or think they should want to buy. You must be able to look at your services from your client’s perspective – their urgent needs and compelling desires.”

– Michael Port in Book Yourself Solid

It makes me wonder if we’re delivering what our customers really want. We do get their feedback in person, and from our customer satisfaction surveys, and they’re not asking for things we don’t offer. Still, I wonder… I think it’s more nuanced than “why don’t you offer ABC service?” I think the question might be, “why doesn’t your service X do Y for me?”

It’s the same with this blog. I’m in marketing. Specifically services marketing. So I write about dogs and beers and peanuts, with the occasional post on cracker jacks. That’s what I’m selling. My intent is to raise awareness of our services and how they can help our customers. My target audience is Kronos customers, Kronos employees, technology services practitioners, and my mom. Still, I wonder…

So what do you want?  No, I mean, what do you WANT?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2012 10:34 am

    I want us to be able to communicate to customers in their terms – that is, to completely personalize our conversations with them so that we’re offering products and services in terms that make sense for their business – right products & services and at the right time. We know that raining down discrete product and service messages doesn’t speak to customers in the way that they think about their workforce management issues. But it takes a village – marketing, sales and service – to coordinate our conversations in a way that helps our customers to best understand how we can help them.

  2. June 22, 2012 10:58 am

    OK. Now I know what my boss wants…

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