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  • Writer's pictureNick Marsh

Is your business narcissistic?



Narcissism is a challenge, particularly these days. I don’t mean trance-like mirror-worship. I mean the clinical kind when a person has “a grandiose sense of their own self-importance but is also extremely sensitive to criticism.

OK, but how’s this about business?


In a business context, criticism is another way of saying negative feedback. No one enjoys hearing it but negative feedback is part of the learning curve when it comes to what you offer your customers. And that’s important if you want to keep those customers since an existing customer is three to eight times more likely to buy from you than a new one. The risks of denial

For all the discomfort it may cause, what’s described here is of greater benefit to your company, in the long term, than inaction and denial. Just like a narcissistic person, if you cannot accept criticism of your business from those that matter, your business won’t grow and learn. Don’t make that mistake. Exploit their perspective


If someone takes the time to contact you, it’s because they want to share something they feel is important. They may not feel they’ve got their money’s worth or what they were expecting. No business in their right mind would ignore that situation. As I mentioned in another post, making your product or message relevant to your customer is crucial to it being a good offer for them. What better way to learn what’s relevant to your prospects and customers than listening to what they don’t like, and what needs improving?


5 friends vs 9 friends They say if a customer has a positive experience with your company, they’ll tell five friends.

If they have a negative experience, they’ll tell nine. Can you even remember you contacted a company to tell them just to tell them everything was fine, beyond clicking on stars in a webshop? Turn those 9 into a 5: acknowledge the issue, and make it up to them. It could be an apology, a discount, a refund, or a free replacement: whatever. Do that and you'll turn the tables of perception around, you’ll cultivate a reputation of trustworthiness and you’ll likely keep a customer, rather than lose one.

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