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Why The Right Audience Is Always Right


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Why The Right Audience Is Always Right

I’ve never agreed with the statement that the customer is king, because there can only be one king, and that means that everyone else is a servant or a subject.

I’m not a servant or a subject. There are no monarchs in my life.

The way I see my entrepreneurial clients is that the best of them are my creative partners. And I’m looking to constantly increase the numbers of these types of clients until the only ones I have are creative partners.

What I mean by “creative partners” is that they bring their ambitions and skills into their Strategic Coach workshop, and I bring along the structure and process I’ve been developing for 45 years. Then I see how we can create entirely new concepts, strategies, and thinking tools by combining what we’ve created in our growth and what they’ve created in their growth.

Only 50 percent.

You don’t need to introduce your ideas to clients perfectly packaged.

For 30 years, I’ve created a new workshop every quarter that’s been at least 50 percent new material.

And where does this material come from?

Every workshop, I’ll share an idea and ask my clients what they think of it. They tell me if it resonates with them, and I’ll open things up for discussion of any thoughts they have that come out of the one I’ve shared.

This is how I determine if the idea is a foundation for something that’s going to work for everyone in the room. And if it is, I play with the idea until it becomes a major concept in the Program.

And if the audience isn’t taking to it, then I know within the first half-hour that the idea’s dead.

Here’s the thing: the best that I can get with an idea by myself is 50 percent. The other 50 percent has to come from the response of the clients in the workshop.

Not everyone’s right.

The right audience for me is one I can explore a new idea with, and they respond with the other 50 percent of it. I can’t develop the idea unless I get the input from this audience.

And if the idea I present isn’t resonating with them, then the conversation will uncover a much more resonant topic. The only research I need to do is with the people that are the audience who will buy it.

Testing your idea on anyone who isn’t writing a check is a waste of time. Testing out an idea on your family, your social network, and anyone other than the audience for the idea gives you no useful feedback.

Always and only test on check writers.

If they don’t like it, kill it. If they like it, develop it.

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Just gets better.

The more you include the right audience in your process, the better you’ll get at engaging with them as creative partners, recognizing which of your ideas are good, and developing those ideas.

Who you use as creative partners will get bigger and better too. To an extent, the process of including them actually trains them to be even better partners. And how you engage with them will immediately influence how they go out in their worlds and engage with their own clients and customers.

The right feedback.

The reason why some people have huge egos when they introduce new ideas is because they know they don’t have the capability to deal with the feedback of someone who sees it differently. So they try to overpower the situation with useless research and glitzy packaging.

The more you discover that responding to the feedback from the right audience is the only capability you need, the more you’ll realize that you don’t need any ego.

If it’s the right audience, then you have to take everything they say as truth. All of their feedback can be considered facts, whether they tell you that you’ve made a huge, positive difference in their lives, or that they can’t imagine writing a check for your idea as it is.

Your audience is an enormous resource that you can take advantage of by testing out your ideas on them, and people love contributing to the development of others’ ideas. When we get to be that sounding board, when we get to contribute our thinking, it’s incredibly rewarding.

The more you include your right-fit audience in this process, the better it will be, the higher the buy-in, and the more successful your ideas and products will be. And your creativity never has to end. This is a lifelong process.

About the Author

Dan Sullivan is the world’s foremost expert on entrepreneurship in action. He is the founder of The Strategic Coach Inc. and creator of The Strategic Coach® Program. Visionary, creative, wise, playful, and generous, he is a true champion of entrepreneurs worldwide.

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