“If you build it, they will come.” This is a quote taken from the movie Field of Dreams (although, in the movie, it’s actually “If you build it, he will come”) and many new and energetic entrepreneurs and innovators start out believing this…that is, before soon learning that succeeding in business isn’t quite that easy.
Just because you’ve come up with a great new idea or a wonderful new invention doesn’t mean that those around you are going to come flocking to it, begging you to take their money. In fact, usually it’s the opposite. You’re left standing there, cold and alone, looking around and wondering where all of your clients are—especially after you shared your idea with everyone you knew, all of them raving about how successful you’re going to be once you release it to the market.
Well, not too long ago, I met a woman by the name of Holly Duckworth who has her own version of this quote and it’s one that, according to what I’ve experienced in my own life, is a lot more accurate. Holly says, “It’s not ‘If you build it, they will come.’ It’s ‘If you build it with them, they’re already there.’”
In other words, to be successful with whatever product or service you provide, you must first find out where your prospective client or customer is and then meet them there. Find out what they need, what problem they’re facing, and be the one person who can provide a solution…a way to somehow make their lives better, happier, healthier, or whatever applies to your particular goods or services.
When you take this route, meeting the person where they are, you’re not spending all of your time and energy pushing, pulling, or shoving a prospective client in an effort to get him or her to budge from the “no” that they’ve securely planted in their mind. Instead, you’re giving them a reason to willingly come to you because you can add value to their lives.
It’s like when the pipe under your kitchen sink bursts, sending water cascading across your floor, making it impossible to do something as simple as wash your hands without making matters worse. In this situation, your immediate need is to get the pipe fixed, right? This means that a plumber isn’t going to have to convince you that you need him or her to come to your house because you’re going to be the one pounding at their door, begging them to use their “magical powers” to fix the issue.
It’s the same way in any other business. When you find out what problem the person has that you can help solve, then you become a welcome solution. They will be begging you for your magical powers, asking you to meet them where they are because they need your goods and services. (Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but you get the point.)
Meet people where they are and people will come running to you. Key up the Chariots of Fire theme song…