I call it the eight-inch perspective.

My cat stares at me from across the room. In fact, she is three rooms over, strategically placed so she can see the room she is in, the long hallway and the room where I am sitting.

She is warm and comfortable where she is sitting. That’s part of why she sits there. She doesn’t have to move to be content.

But she’s also keeping an eye on whether I move. There are two interests there. One, if I get up she knows my chair is an even warmer more satisfying seat. Two, if I do get up there is always a chance I’ll go to the kitchen and get her treats. She will be able to see my progress toward the cupboard by peering down the hallway.

Sitting, her eyes are eight inches off the ground. She knows what she needs and what would motivate her to move. But she won’t move unless it’s worthwhile – and she’s making that decision without even interacting with me. She doesn’t care about my height and the big perspective. That’s literally over her head and serves her no purpose. She doesn’t care how the cat food is made. She just knows it had better be ocean whitefish. If it’s turkey and liver she walks.

Don’t forget what a wise person once said – dogs have masters, cats have staff.

I wish we all had that eight-inch perspective. We do when we are sourcing our needs. We will make 70% of our buying decision based on what we can see on the Internet or view independent of contacting the company. We focus primarily on what we need and what we want. And we don’t reach out to be sold. We reach out when we’re pretty sure we’re ready to buy.

But too often a strange thing happens when we become a seller. We fall in love with our product. We know the intricacies of every bell and whistle. We want to sell our product and not sell the customer on the concept of satisfying their need.  We try to sell based on a big view perspective. We create elaborate pitches related to unnecessary components that may never get used or are tough to even call nice to have.

It’s worth every minute to understand who your buyer is and what makes them tick. In the end, their view I all that matters. It’s the view that’s going to keep you in business. Are you there to serve your needs by selling a product you love – or are you there to solve customer problem.

If you don’t concentrate on solving their need, someone else will.

The eight-inch perspective. Hmm . . . maybe there’s a book to be written. But I need to feed the cat first.

Peter Haggert is the director of Haggert Media Group, a full-service organization that specializes in teaching companies how to optimize their use of LinkedIn for branding, lead generation and yes, profit.

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