sly : marketing

I am not your perfect customer, so what?

Look at me. I’m right here. I have money, not a lot, but I’m going to spend them on you. Do you care who I am, does it really matter?

Jerry Seinfeld Live in Oslo

I was watching Jerry Seinfeld live on stage among close to 20,000 people. I was quiet, I was laughing, but not out loud. I hardly made a sound all evening. The annoying guy next to me did. He was yelling. Yeah!! He was whistling. Clapping his hands all the time, and he was stomping his feet. At first, I thought he was a little scary, then, I decided to myself that he was crazy. Finally, I understood that he was the perfect customer.

The show was a lot better with him in the audience. He was giving feedback to Jerry Seinfeld, and to the other people in the audience. I was just sitting there. But, I paid the same price for the ticket as the man sitting next to me and shouting YEAH!!

Seminar with Gary Vaynerchuck

I was watching Gary Vaynerchuck live on stage among close to 400 people. I was quiet. I was laughing, but not out loud. I listened to every word he said. I hardly made a sound during the three hours. The annoying guy next to me did. He was asking Gary Vaynerchuck all sorts of questions. The man could hardly speak a word English, but he kept asking the questions. At first, I was embarrassed. I wanted to look away. I wanted to stop listening. I wanted to hide. Finally, I realized that I was sitting next to the perfect customer.

The seminar would have been a lot more boring if all the people in the audience was like me. Nobody would have asked a question. Nobody would have said a thing. Nobody would have laughed. You wouldn’t hear a sound, other than from Gary Vaynerchuck. But, I paid the same price for the ticket as the man sitting next to me.

Who’s on board?

We should never try to please everyone. I know that much. But, should we focus on the perfect customer, or the perfect customer behavior, or are every customer perfect as long as they are paying?

We should be greatful for every customer, and we should deliver happiness, but are all customers equal as long as they are paying the same price?

It doesn’t mean that I don’t love you even though I am quiet

I was watching both Jerry Seinfeld and Gary Vaynerchuck from a far distance. But I was there, and I was just as exited as the weird man sitting next to me.

You are reading my blog. You are part of the same journey as people who are contacting me. You are part of the same experience of the people who are talking to me, sending me emails and adding comments. You are passive, just like me, but does that mean that I care less about you than the people I have a relationship with?

Well, not to me, because I am just like you. I understand, and I can relate. But to other people, and companies, it might be different. That’s because they have no idea who you are. They can’t hear you and they can’t see you.

Defining the outcast

I was watching Jerry Seinfeld and looking at the man next to me. I was watching Gary Vaynerchuck and looking at the man next to me. Suddenly, I was the weird one, my behavior was deviant, and I felt like an outcast. Everything was different a few minutes ago, outside. Both men were quiet when I met them outside, and I was quiet. We were among the same tribe, standing in line to get inside. And we still are among the same tribe, although they have become VIP’s and I have not.

27 responses to “I am not your perfect customer, so what?”

  1. Eugene says:

    That’s a great post Jens! I’ve totally been in the same position as you were. I felt weird sitting next to the loud guy because it’s not the way that I would act. But you’re right, for the actual performer, that is the perfect customer.

    Then again, I’ve been to a comedy show where a guy in the audience thought that he was the comedian…he was politely asked to leave :).

    But people have different personality types, you can’t fault them for that. I think as long as you are in the audience, you are just as important as everyone else. You may not be as actively participating, but you are participating by listening and learning, or listening and having a good time, or whatever else it may be.

    • jens says:

      Hi Eugene,

      I definitively agree with you. We’re all just as important, and I am doing everything I can to treat everybody the same. And that’s one of my main goals when it comes to marketing. On the other hand, I try to create relationships and that’s very hard, especially to people who are as passive as myself 🙂

      I’m a lot more active when it comes to online communication than offline. People will have to go to great lengths to get me to show emotions in a crowd of people. I’m still just as excited, it doesn’t show… it’s all on the inside.

      Thanks a lot for your awesome comment.


  2. Carolyn says:

    Jens, Great post but I respectfully disagree with you. You can’t have an audience full of loud people or it will get out of control. People like us are a calming influence in an audience so people don’t get in too much of a fervor, I believe.

    Don’t be too hard on yourself, you rock!

    • jens says:

      Hey Carolyn,

      That’s great that you disagree. It makes everything so much more interesting. And, I’m not categorically saying that I’m right. And actually, what I am saying is that we should take a closer look at our customers. Maybe we are all perfect, together, as a mix of different people. And that it would be boring if our customers were all just the same type of people?

      An audience with people just like me would be very boring, no matter what type of show I was attending… on the other hand, a show full of people like the man sitting next to me, that would be total chaos 🙂

      Thanks a lot for your brilliant comment Carolyn, and have a great weekend.


  3. Bill Dorman says:

    You outcast……………Mark Harai told me about you……..:)

    It’s not much different to commenting on blogs. If you see your traffic it is probably 10:1 people who look but don’t talk. Why? They didn’t like it; didn’t have a comment; too shy? Who knows, huh?

    What I do know, a lot more people see your ‘stuff’ than you think. I follow and respond to another person’s blog but they have never responded on mine. I assumed they weren’t even looking at it. And then they tweeted me something about one of my posts; it surprised me to say the least.

    I would think as an entertainer, presenter, etc you want some feedback, engagement, etc. But you will always have people like you that fully enjoy the product but internalize your appreciation.

    Do you have a solution on what it would take for you to be more demonstrative in your appreciation?

    • jens says:

      Hey Bill,

      Don’t listen to what Mark says, he is always too nice.

      That’s why it’s so hard to know with people like me. We’re not showing emotions. The same goes for blogging. If you leave a comment I understand your feedback. If you just leave, I have no idea what your opinion is. That’s a great point Bill. But as long as you are reading and visiting my blog over and over again, you are the perfect “customer”. But it’s harder to tell, since I don’t get the feedback directly.

      I don’t have a solution what it would take for me to be more demonstrative in my appreciation. It all depends, but maybe if I was in the front row at the conference or the stand up show, I would be more responsive.. since it would be easier for the person on stage to actually see it on my face. And I would want him to get the feedback directly from me, and not just me as part of the crowd… but I really don’t know 🙂

      Thanks a lot for your comment Bill.


  4. Carolyn says:

    Jens, I’ve been thinking more about your post (as I always seem to do with your posts) and I remember one of the first posts I read from you about a conference you attended. Everybody else was taking notes on laptops, iPads, etc. but you just sat and listened. I imagine you were the best customer at that conference because you probably had eye contact with the speakers. As a speaker, it’s difficult to speak to a room full of people staring at their laptops.

    So the ideal customer is very different depending on the circumstances. What features do you think makes the ideal customer, Jens?

    • Bill Dorman says:

      See, that’s why I don’t have gadgets……I’m listening….:)

    • jens says:

      Hi Carolyn,

      I might have been the best customer at the conference, but I was also way back… so nobody could see me from the stage 🙂

      I definitively agree Carolyn. The ideal customer is very different depending on the circumstances. On the other hand, I believe that the perfect customer is one that pays the price you are asking (the full price) and keeps coming back and buying your stuff. But, I also love feedback… so if I was Jerry Seinfeld, I would have loved to get some laughs and people yelling yeah! And, as a blogger, I love reading comments. It helps to see google analytics and that I have close to 1,000 visitors. But, it’s a lot more fun when somebody comments (like you!).

      Thanks a lot for your comment.


  5. Gil Pizano says:

    It’s those differences of opinions and personalities that make the world such an interesing place to be in. If we were all the same, than many of us in the world would simply be obsolete. As long as you were enjoying yourself at those shows, that is what is most important. It’s not like you were telling the people next to you who were so loud to “be a little softer while laughing”. They were enjoying their time at the event the same as you, just in their own way.

    One thing that can help those of us who are a little quieter while being in an audience who at the same time feel a little embarrassed at the person next to us. If the person next to us is being a little embarassing for you, then rest assured that they most likely are not aware that you are feeling embarassed and that because they are being so loud, people are most likely not event noticing you at all. So enjoy the show and feel good that we are in a society where people are able to show how they feel without the threat of being placed in jail or killed (ok…I’m being a little extreme there, but there are places in the world where that would happen).

    Thanks for the thought provoking post Jens!


    • jens says:

      Hi Gil,

      I definitively agree with you. Differences in opinion and personalities makes the world a very interesting place to be in. My opinion is that I was enjoying the Jerry and Gary show just as much as the other two guys,I was just showing it in a very different way. It’s very hard to tell what I think about things, unless you ask me or I tell you. If you don’t know me, you have no idea if I enjoy it or not. But, I still think that I’m the perfect customer… since I am paying the full price and I keep coming back.

      Thanks a lot for your brilliant comment Gil.


  6. Stuart says:

    Jens, rest assured, I don’t whoop around and clap my hands yelling “Yeah!” every time I read your blogs. But I do return here, quietly read, and inwardly nod my head and smile.

    To a performer, the ideal customer is someone who devours everything offered, who willingly comes back for more no matter what the price, and who isn’t afraid of showing their love and appreciation. Those guys were the perfect customers because they practically worshipped Jerry and Gary. But to another customer, such as me and you Jens, they seem odd. Weird. Embarrassing. Why? Because we’re not in the same zone as them. We don’t understand their passion. And so we reject them for being different. Not weird, but different.

    It takes a lot for me to get into a frenzy Jens, but once I do, I won’t care who sees 🙂

    • jens says:

      Hey Stuart,

      You’re absolutely right. I kept looking at those guys and to me, they looked both a little weird and different, but when I started to think about Jerry and Gary, the “weird” guys turned into awesome guys 🙂

      I was in the zone, but I don’t show it to people who don’t know me (they can see that I’m in the zone). If I’m really quite, and I’m very focused (don’t look at everything that’s happening around me), people understand that I’m enjoying myself.

      Thanks a lot for your comment Stuart. I was hoping you were yelling yeah! when you read my posts, but maybe next time 🙂


  7. Adrienne says:

    Ah, the opinionated people. I love to laugh and have a good time but when I’m at an event, I keep it in check. Now if it’s a question and answer session and I have an opinion, I will pipe up.

    I do agree that the ideal customer is the one who keeps coming back for more. Just like I enjoy coming back and reading what you have to share with us. So you may be a little quieter than most but that’s okay. You share your stories with us that keep us entertained and coming back.

    Now the guys that you sat next to, I would have eventually found them rather annoying. I’m not into the really loud people, not if they are sitting right next to me. But at the same time I do realize that they were probably having a real good time. Guess that’s all that really matters right!

    Thanks for sharing this with us Jens. You always spin your posts so there is never a dull moment. I love that about you!

    Enjoy your day!


    • jens says:

      I’m not a huge fan of loud people either, although I understand that sometimes they are needed… especially in large crowds at concerts. A mix of people is probably the best for most of us 🙂

      But, when it comes to the perfect customer, I’m not sure… although I’m thinking that as long as she is coming back wanting more (no matter if she gives any feedback at all), she is the perfect customer.

      Thanks a lot for your brilliant comment Adrienne, and your kind words 🙂


  8. Carolyn says:

    I’m with Adrienne, I cringe if I’m sitting next to a loud, boisterous audience member. They’re not so bad if they’re a few rows away, but if they sit next to me, that’s not good. I’d rather sit next to people like Jens and Adrienne!

  9. Ryan Critchett says:

    Always a thought inducing post from you, Jens.

    I have to say. I really really love this post. It makes me think about how important it is to embrace diversity and even contrast in customers and followers. You made the point really well. They could still be the perfect customer, even if they’re not reacting the way you are. You were psyched, and didn’t say a word. The other guy was also psyched, and was shouting it up because of it!

    Solid stuff.

    • jens says:

      Hey Ryan,

      I was at Jerry Seinfeld, starting to get annoyed, when I realized this. I was looking at the loud guy next to me, and instead of him pissing me off, I got a little exited… I thought, Jerry Seinfeld really need this guy 🙂

      Thanks a lot for your brilliant comment Ryan.


  10. Alfee says:

    That’s a great perspective. I once went to a personal development seminar and the speaker duly categorized us into the kinds of people that normally walk through the doors of the seminar. I fell into the “keeping quiet” group which according to the speaker, would get nothing out of the seminar. Like you, I didn’t behave the way I was expected to but hey I’m a paying customer too!

    • jens says:

      Hey Alfee,

      Sorry about the late reply. But I’ve been camping, sleeping in a tent without any electricity and no Internet connection at all 🙂

      I definitively agree with you. People like you and me, we get as much from seminars, and concerts as all the other people, we’re just behaving in a different way. That’s what it’s all about. And, we are paying the same price for the tickets.

      Thanks a lot for stopping by Alfee, and for your brilliant comment.


  11. jens says:


    Thanks a lot for your feedback. I really appreciate it 🙂


  12. Kenneth says:

    People like that loud and talkative is just gleeful.but sometimes they’re hard
    to handle… nice post!

    • jens says:

      Hi Kenneth,

      Thanks a lot for your feedback. I agree, and I realized that the man next to me was actually gleeful.. but at first, I thought he was a little weird, and almost a little crazy 🙂


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