Listen To The Critics
Back in 1999, I wrote my very first self-published book. I wrote it in Microsoft Word®, then took it down to Kinko’s to be copied and bound. I sold several of those books without one ounce of feedback, good or bad.
Then a retired minister contacted me; he told me the book was good, but could be so much better. It was hard hearing his constructive criticism but I listened. I made the changes as fast as I could and then I sent him a complimentary copy. He emailed me immediately, ecstatic that I had rewritten the book because it was exactly what he needed. In fact, he was so thrilled with the new content that he offered to pay me for the second copy. (I declined his offer.)
I stopped printing and began selling the e-book version. The e-book began to make more money and word of mouth spread.
A few years later, I received an email from another gentleman who loved the e-book but felt it was lacking information. I asked what he felt was missing and where he was having trouble. He emailed me back some specifics. Once again, I went to work to improve the material in that e-book and sent him the finalized draft. A few weeks later he wrote back to tell me that the e-book was a hit! In fact, he was praising it all over the Internet and had received several job leads because of it.
Had I insisted my e-book was fine just the way it was, I would have made a few hundred bucks a month, but thanks to the feedback I received and my willingness to improve my book to meet the needs of its audience, I now sell over $1,000 per month of that very e-book! (And that is all by word of mouthâ€¦I have yet to pay for advertising for that e-book.)
So how do you go about getting feedback? You ask for it!
1. Include a questionnaire with every item you sell. Provide a multiple choice or fill in the blank survey.
2. Send an email to every customer who provided you with an email address. After three weeks from the date of purchase, send your customer an email asking for feedback on the product/service purchased. In exchange you will enter his/her name into a drawing for a prize at the end of the year. (Make sure you have your drawing rules and disclaimer in the email or a link back to a web page on your company site.)
3. Send a sample of your product to trusted friends, colleagues, and/or business associates and ask for their honest feedback. (Remind them that you’ll return the favor.)
4. Hire an outside company to get a survey going.
Sometimes, we don’t know everything and listening to feedback from our customers can improve our bottom line if we’re willing to improve our product or service.
About the Author
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