The Rare Gift of Constructive Feedback — for Improving a Business

If there’s a service provider that you respect, and you’d like to give them a gift (without having to spend money) consider doing the following:

Gently and kindly let them know why you are not signing up for their program, service, or product. You read that right. Give them the incredibly helpful gift of feedback.

This kind of message can really improve their marketing, and help them make decisions about what product or service they provide.

​Let’s talk about this valuable exercise, from both perspectives… the client, and the service provider.
If you’re a client/student of someone…

You hold something of great value to your service providers.

In the long-run, it’s more valuable than any money you could pay them, or even the testimonials you might offer.

The kind and honest feedback about why you did not buy something of theirs… is worth gold.

As a service provider, the worst kind of confusion is when people don’t buy what we offer… yet we have no idea why. Was it something we said? Was it the price?

Does “I can’t afford it” really mean “I would’ve preferred a different service or product?”

Could we have offered something else that would’ve made them happy to buy it?

Have they bought something else that they wish we provided instead?

If you (as a client/student) don’t offer this kind of feedback, your service providers will be left in the dark — wondering what went wrong. Why didn’t their launch didn’t go as expected?

The bafflement they experience is discouraging and can sometimes make them want to quit.

Your willingness to share your honest thoughts and suggestions is a true gift to their business. It helps them provide products and services that are a much better fit for you, and others like you.

It can also help them improve their marketing, so that their message is more clear and interesting.

Many of you are clients and students of mine. Thank you truly. And I am very open to this kind of feedback from you. So whenever you see anything I offer that isn’t a good fit for you, I welcome you to privately message me, and let me know why, and what instead would work better for you.

You’d be doing me a favor, truly.

If you’re a service provider…

Constructive criticism isn’t easy to receive and integrate. I know this very well, from first hand experience. I can take it too personally, wondering why the other person doesn’t see or appreciate my good intentions, or catch the vision of what I’m trying to share.

But that’s the point — they (the potential client) don’t understand the vision of the product or service — and that’s why they didn’t buy.

…and it’s not their fault.

If you understood their needs better, you would provide a more aligned service for them.

If you understood their current mindset, your marketing would better align to their wants.

So whenever we think “they don’t get it” it would be more productive if we reframe it as “Seems like we don’t really get them… so how can we understand them better?”

As we open our hearts and minds to understand and serve them better, we can receive the feedback with more gratitude: they are giving us very valuable information to help us understand them in the ways that matter to our business. They’re telling us what they don’t want, and what they do want instead.

After any failed launch (or better yet, after a failed prelaunch or early bird period where there were no enrollments) we as service providers can actively ask our audience:
  • If you didn’t consider buying this, why not?
  • If you considered it, what stopped you from saying Yes?
  • Have you bought something else that perhaps I could’ve offered?
  • Imagine a service or product that would serve your current needs. Tell me anything you can about it.

An answer to any one of these could give you valuable data.

Notice any commonalities within the responses from the various people you ask. How might the patterns guide your future offerings?

By the way, you don’t have to change your offerings just because a few people didn’t buy it. If you got at least a few enrollments for that offering, maybe what you need is to grow a bigger audience.

​Even so, if you do notice patterns in the feedback, from people you’d love your business to serve, then it’s time to listen.