Saqui Research

It’s Your Customer’s World (and You’re Probably Not In It)

9:15 a.m.-9:16 a.m. customer thoughts

Did I close the garage door?

 I wonder if peanut butter would taste good on this?

This guy has an annoying voice.

I should work out, but I enjoy not working out way too much.

Did he take out the trash?

I mowed the lawn yesterday anyways.  

I bet he didn’t.

Should I call and remind him?

No, trust is important in a marriage.

But it couldn’t hurt.

I’ll make the call after this meeting.

Did my phone vibrate or am I just imagining it?

This presenter has a piece of spinach in his teeth.

Doesn’t he notice it?

I mean, it’s huge.

It’s basically an entire salad.

Do I want a salad for lunch? Of course not.  I want a big freaking steak with French fries.

Why are French fries called French fries? They are not French.

What should I make for dinner?

I really hope she gets takeout.

Did I put deodorant on this morning?

Eating pizza while watching football is the life.

Maybe I’ll make steaks and pair it with some wine.

Wings. That would be a great topping on pizza.

Spread out one of the nice tablecloths and light a candle or two.

They would have to be boneless wings, though.

Oh gosh. He’s looking at me. He must have asked me a question.

Is that the mailman? 

Quick, quick. Say something. 

No, it was just the wind. 

Well, I blew it. Honey, I hope you like an unemployed woman.

I’ll stay here for a while. It’s a nice day outside. 

Wait. He’s smiling and nodding. Smile and nod back. 

There’s the mailman. Hi mailman!

Okay, good. He’s looking at Jim now.

Hi Mr. Mailman! Got any good mail today?

Jim looks terrified. He must have zoned out during the presentation too.

You don’t know? How come?

I didn’t realize a person could actually choke on his words. 

Well, how was I supposed to know opening someone else’s mail was a federal crime?

What would I do if he just suddenly dropped dead?

Delivering the mail is your job. Not mine. I bet you don’t know when the Battle of the Bulge was.

Well, that was dramatic. The presenter still has spinach stuck in his teeth.

You do? Oh, you are a fellow history major?

I’m starting to think Jim was the lucky one. 

So, how about that job market?

Maybe I’ll make a salad for dinner.

Gosh. I really need to get a job. 

What are the chances I could get a job in Hawaii?

According to researchers at LONI, a research center at the Institution for Neuroimaging and Informatics at the University of Southern California, the average person has 70,000 thoughts per day.  

That is about 49 thoughts per minute for your customer. It’s likely these thoughts are pretty random too (see above).

And yet, we expect:

  • Our company, product, or service to be top-of-mind for our customers;
  • To send out one marketing message and have sales come in;
  • To have one meeting and think our pitch is going to stick;
  • Our customers to read our blog posts, newsletters, white papers, etc. and keep them as daily references;
  • Our satisfied customers to tell everyone they know about the great service they received from us;
  • Our voice mails, emails, appointment requests to be immediately returned;
  • Our prospects to be patient with our bad website design that loads slowly, looks ugly, or is just plain hard to navigate;
  • Our customers to pay more for our product or service than what is in the marketplace without clearly articulating why ours is better and brings more value;


…and so on.

In my work with all types of organizations, I find these expectations are often unspoken but they are there and doing serious damage to new business development initiatives.  These expectations make your organization lazy, underactive, undisciplined, and negligent.

So, are you making the big mistake of expecting to be in your customer’s world? Ask yourself the following questions and find out:

  • How often do you assume your customer thinks about your company, product, or service? Every day? Every week? Once a month?
  • How many marketing messages do you typically send out before expecting sales to come in? One? Two? Five? Ten?
  • Do you think your pitch is so memorable that one meeting is all that is needed to make it stick?
  • Do you assume your customers consistently read your content and refer to it when needed?
  • To what extent are you relying on customers to talk to prospects about the service they received from your company?
  • How often do you get impatient, annoyed, frustrated, etc. when customers or prospects don’t return your messages promptly?
  • To what extent are you expecting prospects to just deal with your bad website design?
  • To what extent are you asking a premium price for your product or service while not clearly articulating the value?


What would improve in your new business development initiatives if you changed your expectations?


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Ursula Saqui is an academic and psychotherapist turned entrepreneur. Works with individuals and organizations that are willing, curious, and brave enough to intensely focus and work on their brand, customers, and competitive advantage. When she is not working, she is spending time with her family, reading, playing soccer, or eating steak. Connect with Ursula via , Twitter, LinkedIn, or on Facebook.