How to Know What to Sell: Are Your Customers Happy?

It was my son Gilad’s second birthday, and the daycare wanted to throw him a party like they do for all the kids. Usually these parties are a complete success, the kids are happy, and a good time is had by all (my daughter Shoshana had her 3rd birthday party at the same daycare and loved it).  So how were we to know that selling Gilad on a birthday party was going to be a very delicate matter?

From the start, things seemed a disaster. He didn’t want to sit in his special chair or wear his crown.  He didn’t want to play a game parading around and singing. He didn’t ever want sugary treats, which were served early to see if it would calm him down.  It looked like the party was doomed. Then everything changed with one simple offer.

The teacher pulled out a box of pompoms for the kids to wave around, while she sang a song for them.  Suddenly, Gilad’s face lit up like a birthday cake, as he started smiling, laughing, and got totally into the party. I watched him change from throwing a complete tantrum to having a ball in a manner of seconds.  As all the kids ran outside to play, with Gilad leading the pack, I realized something: customers are a lot like toddlers.

As business owners we can think we know what they want.  We look for signs from them to see if we are making them happy or not like do they click on our product descriptions, what is their bounce rate on our site, and ultimately do they click “buy now.”  Just like Gilad’s birthday party, there is usually something very specific that is going to click with the buyer. The key to success in customer relationships is making the choices easy for them when they are ready to buy and presenting your solution to their problem in a way that is clear, intuitive, and fun.

To find out whether your “party” will be a success with customers, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the one problem my customers have that I can solve?
  • In as simple terms as possible (so a child can understand), how does what I’m selling solve the problem?
  • Do I have a way of getting inside the customer’s head and finding out what matters to them (blog comments, feedback, customer surveys, Facebook Likes and Interests profile, etc.)?
  • How am I making the offer of my product known to customers (webpage, Facebook Ads, blog, etc.)?
  • Do I have a way of tracking conversion rates (from page visit, to click, to sale)?  If so, what is working best to convert? What isn’t working?
  • How can you make your offer more targeted and more fun?

These questions will get at the heart of how you make the offer to customers. This is an evolving process, and finding your “pompom” will take some experimentation. Taking the time to do this analysis, review, and revision is crucial through the life cycle of your products to continue evolving and growing with your customer.


  1. Gilad’s story was quite a delight. Thank you for sharing. Ra-ra-sis-boom-ba—wave those pom-poms from side to side, Gilad—YOU’RE THE MAN!

  2. Inevitably that pompom will be rested; finding its way to a muddy end or worse still, to live out its remaining days between the jaws of ‘Rover’. Then it’s all eyes on the educator once more. What’s on offer now? Where’s the new nectar and can they arouse the intrigue to get everyone dancing about it?

    Finding a new pompom requires collaboration, and collaboration requires inspiration. The natural world can show us how to find this. The dance of the bees, like the ravers at a festival, is a collaborative effort that gets everyone excited to go out and discover that fresh nectar. This collective response ultimately increases the chances of finding it.

    There are many alliances and partnerships in our natural world. In Peter Miller’s book, Smart Swan, he explores the successes of nature and scales it up for application in the business world. Of course, slaving away for the queen in the hive mind mentality may not be everyone’s ideal. However, with the abundant accomplishments readily observed in nature, there exists a great diversity of fruitful lessons for every business.

    • I love your reply Junglehq! So true that we are always looking for a new pompom. The question is, how can a business best coordinate that innovation to bring about the new pompom? It’s been said “you can’t innovate like Apple,” but I’m not sure I believe that. Apple innovates by knowing their buyers very well, employing the finest designers, and creating a culture where people are dying to perform at their best. What are some methods that you can think of to stimulate innovation in a company? Is there a template anyone knows of for tracking this, or does tracking innovation automatically stifle it? What are your thoughts people?

  3. I know of no guaranteed success template for tracking or creating innovation. Attempting to track it could well result in stifling an organic process. There are so many ideas and point by point advice on stimulating innovation.

    Surely you couldn’t apply just one of these and expect every company to become innovators and market movers?
    Apple possesses ingredients that cause innovation: the fervour of the public; employees at the top of their game; a revered figurehead. This mix, in part, creates their success and desire to innovate. It does not necessarily mean that they have the fundamentals of innovation.

    There seems to be no hard and fast rules for stimulating innovation. Good old Albert Einstein said “Innovation is not the product of logical thought, although the result is tied to logical structure”. When people can develop their ideas, even if slightly or wholly left-field, coupled with the support to apply it practically – this may just allow for something new and inspiring to penetrate.



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