Reset the Customer Relationship

People often behave differently than they say they will.

Survey question: Would you buy this (product)?

Customer answer: Yes.

Actual behavior when product comes out: Didn’t buy it. Sometimes people have an idealized vision of who they are or what they want. Sometimes they tell you what they think you want to hear, or what they think will impress you or improve their status. Their behavior tells the real story.

So how do you remove the emotion and uncertainty from the typical “blast and hope” cycle and get a more rational view of your customers?

Let’s consider fundamentally changing the dynamics of the customer relationship.

We interviewed Trish Witkowski, CEO of Fold Factory and an award-winning marketer, about how niche publishers can create better, more focused, customer relationships.

Trish: “Many of us are split in so many directions pushing out content to every platform we can find – giving, giving, giving. We shoot from the hip. This approach is exhausting, time-consuming and offers no guarantees.

And this holds true especially in Niche, where the passion for your product or service from the customer base can be very high. It’s so easy to mistake enthusiasm for buying intent. Take it from me – I have a rabid fan base of creative people who love folding paper, but it doesn’t mean they always buy stuff from me. They just love the images, the content and the discussion – the camaraderie that comes from sharing an interest in that niche.

So we have to reset. We have to start keeping score. This is not to say that we close the door on people who are not buying, but it means identifying the ones who are least likely to buy. And more importantly, we identify the ones that have the buying potential and catering to their needs. It’s a balance, but it’s really important to manage that. It’s certainly easier on the front end to lump everyone together and hope to snag some good sales leads in the mix. But on the back-end, it’s so wasteful to blindly give the same level of attention to every lead.”

If we know the real journey, we know the next action.

What if you started evaluating customers on exactly how much engagement and money they’re willing to give you, and then you scaled your efforts accordingly?

Trish: “To anticipate actions, we have to step back and look at the customer journey, and to pull them through it with a series of lead tools.  It would be great to be able to skip to the end and grab them right at the point of purchase. But we really have to catch them earlier than that, and provide the answers, tools and resources to pull them along the process.

It’s much worse to just make assumptions. Time goes by and resources are burned and misunderstandings happen. All because we weren’t staying on a course. We weren’t asking questions, keeping score, getting feedback, actively making moves.

If you make enough moves, you can learn the moves that work and repeat them. It’s better to make a move and course correct than to sit back and wait for things to unfold. Randomness and lack of strategy is the enemy.”


Editor’s note: This post has been updated since originally published in 2017.


More about Trish: Trish Witkowski is a dynamic speaker, a YouTube sensation, and a direct marketing maven. Her work with big brands and loyal fans led her to a deep-dive exploration of client and audience relationships, from which she developed a sales technique that flips the current relationship marketing craze on its head. Today, Trish travels the world teaching marketers and sales leaders how to gain an advantage and turn soft sales into cold, hard cash. ​Before rising to international fame for her strangely addictive, weekly YouTube series, Trish flexed her creative muscles designing for brands like DAP, DeWalt, and Cover Girl.



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