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Engagement strategy

No matter what engagement strategy you use, there are certain things you need to do in order to really succeed. As a business, you have to be your own best customer. You have to love what you do, trust what you sell, and believe in your company, otherwise you won't be able to engage customers and get them to do so. The following is a look at a few steps every business should take to better engage customers:

Empathy- It is great to be your own customer because then you have empathy for other customers. You know what they are going through, what they need, and you are sensitive to how offerings can fill those needs. Or, just as importantly, what needs are not being filled with your offerings. When you understand them, and their culture, you won't take advantage of them. You respect their values, you respect their expectations, and you treat them as friends. Empathy helps to establish trust, but it also helps you determine what is most important to offer your customers in order to get the success you want.

Put yourself in other's shoes- It is great if you can look at your market and understand it because you are part of it. However, don't get too close, you have to put yourself in the shoes of others as well to make sure that you are meeting their needs, and are not making all choices based on what you need, as everyone is different. In other words, it is good to be a customer because it opens up your eyes to many of the ways your brand can serve their needs, but it is also important to be open-minded that your thoughts may not coincide with everyone else's. Keep some distance so you can be objective.

Trust your intuition- If you are your own customer, then you need to trust your own intuition, this is especially true if you are venturing into uncharted waters. Weigh the advice of experts against your own experience. Many times you will see it lines up; and if they do not, ask yourself where the truth lies. Help yourself find out what everyone thinks, even if it is different from what you think. Trust yourself, and use your instincts as a guide, but not as the final say on the matter.

Don't be afraid to commercialize- Often businesses start with a grand purpose, and because of that they never get on their feet. The ideals are high, and the owners (you) want to help someone, but the fact is, unless you commercialize and get your product out there, you won't benefit as many people, because no one will know about it. Commercializing a product means surviving, not selling out, or changing your values.In addition, the profits that come from commercialization can help fund growth, and new ideas. It is possible to have moral purpose and commercialization at the same time.

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