Ari on Business

Natural Law #2: You need to give customers really compelling reasons to buy from you

This seems exceedingly obvious, but I’ve encountered a lot of businesses that don’t get it—they seem to think that people ought to buy from them “just because.” But from the day we opened at Zingerman’s we’ve always taken the approach that we need our customers way more than they need us. We’ve always assumed that we have nothing to offer that anyone really needs. And we’ve worked with the knowledge that we don’t sell anything that a hundred (or now, with the web, a hundred thousand) competitors aren’t offering some reasonable facsimile of, often with better parking or lower prices. Instead, we’ve always worked with the belief that we have to give people lots of really good reasons to buy from us.

The answer to the question of what those persuasive reasons are will vary from one business to the next. But if you don’t think the reasons your company is offering are all that exciting, they probably aren’t. If that’s the case, I’d say start working to come up with more as quickly as you can—the risk of offering too many compelling reasons would be what we’d consider a “good problem.”

Twelve Natural Laws of Business:
There are organizational principles that consistently work and, in the big scheme of things, follow a natural order. We call these “Natural Laws of Business.” Our experience here is that the natural laws are applicable for any business regardless of size, scale, age or product offering. Exceptions exist, but I’ll say up front I wouldn’t recommend expending much energy trying to prove these rules to be wrong.