One Customer Interaction Changed My Entire Perspective on Marketing

It’s about serving not selling

Photo from Freepik

I had my lunch, parathas with chicken curry, and sat on my couch, turned on my air conditioner, and started replying to the support mails, which is part of my job as a marketer.

Being a great fan of computerization, I asked Cortana:
“Hey Cortana, please turn on the WiFi.”

He responds:
“Okay, Boss. Your Wife is turned on now.”

I was excited and stunned.

Anyway, the WiFi is turned on, and the internet is faster than Usain Bolt… for everyone except me. The internet went down right as I sat down, while it was working okay for my brother watching Netflix.

I received an email which went:

“Hey man, help me with these questions:
1. Which programming language to start with?
2. How do I learn to code?
3. Where to find good tutorials?
4. Which one is better? App/Website/Videos?
5. How to keep up my motivation?
6. How often to learn? When to practice?
7. I don’t have time. What should I do?
8. I get distracted often. What can I do?
9. Is it necessary to have a mentor?
10. Which specification of device do I need to start programming?”

I read it and thought: “Holy moly, I’m not replying to that. I need to finish replying to all the other emails and gotta go watch ‘Johnny English Reborn’ in 30 minutes.”

Suddenly I had an idea: “Let’s sell him our premium mentorship service.”

So, obviously, my reply went:

“Hi there, Mark.
Really glad you being a part of our family and really appreciate you reaching us. We have a special service called Coding Buddy in which we provide first-class mentorship. It’s a paid service that costs $99.99. Thanks so much.
Love from Team Programming Hero.”

So, guess what happened next? He replied back saying: “Okay thank you.”

I was wondering what went wrong. To figure out, I asked him: “So, if you’re purchasing it, let me know if I can be of any other assistance.”

I thought he wouldn’t reply back, but he did: “I’ll never buy, Idiot.”

At that moment, I felt selling was scary. Why? People will call you an idiot, which you are not. So, in a quest to search what went wrong, I took his name from the email and sent him a friend request on Facebook. After four days, he finally accepted.

While scrolling through his feed, surprisingly, I found something interesting:

  1. That dude asked the same exact questions in many other places and never got any answers.
  2. Most likely, his expectations were too high for all of us and we didn’t meet that properly.

I spent some time to write a personalized reply to him:

“Hello there, Mark.
I hope you’re well. Thanks so much for your amazing feedback. Here are the answers to your questions:

  1. If you’re a beginner and not sure which field you want to go for, start with Python as it is beginner-friendly and it’ll be the future. If you’ve chosen your field, then go with the language which fits that field.
  2. There are a lot of places where you can learn to code, and most of them are available for free. If you’re more of a visual learner, try YouTube. FreeCodeCamp has a vast range of topics and courses to choose from. If you want to learn from PC, try If you’re more of a mobile-addict like me, try our Programming Hero app (Android/iOS). There is never a perfect tutorial. You start with one, explore it. If you like it, keep learning. If not, try something else. You’ll eventually find your “best” one.
  3. The above point answers this.
  4. The point above answers this.
  5. Just have a “Why” for your learning. It could be to become richer than Bill Gates, make a change in the world, or to reduce the work of your special one with a special robot for her, it could be anything.
  6. It’s better if you can block six hours daily, three hours of learning, and three hours of practicing. However, if you have a full-time job, school studies, or talking with your crush, you can start with one hour every day. And slowly increase it.
  7. The 6th point has the answer to this.
  8. Try the Pomodoro Technique, where you learn 25 minutes and then take a break for five minutes and then practice for the next 25 minutes, take a break for five mins, and so on.
  9. Well, mentorship isn’t a necessity. But, it is good to have. Because technology is constantly changing and it’s harder for us alone to know which things to learn. So, a mentor helps shorten our learning curve and get better sooner.
  10. It doesn’t matter. You can start learning and even coding on your mobile with apps like Programming Hero or SoloLearn.

Thanks so much. Stay safe, and happy coding.
Love from Team Programming Hero.”

I was afraid he would now call me a “cheater.”

To my utter surprise, it was the complete opposite: “Oh, thanks so much. I really appreciated your kind reply. Hey, please tell me more about the mentorship service.”

At that exact moment, I realized that it’s not about selling, it’s about serving. The better we serve our customers, the more likely they are to be loyal to you. And, loyalty means getting them to buy everything you have to offer.

This was a turning point in my life. It was something new I learned which changed my whole perspective about marketing:

  1. Marketing means serving, not selling. And, serving without expecting anything in return.
  2. Marketing is giving without expecting anything in return. It’s about value-addition.
  3. Marketing means making our customers better off. It’s about making a great change in their life.
  4. Marketing is the magic stick to touch anybody’s heart.

So, What Seems Scary in Your Life?

Maybe influence outreach seems scary. The addition of value to their life with your product can create the magic.

Maybe pitching to investors seems scary. The addition of value to their life with your startup can create the magic.

Maybe proposing your special one seems scary. The addition of value to their life with your love cannot create the magic. Taking her to shop, whenever she wants can create the magic

Want to Know What That Dude Did Ultimately?

He promoted our app (for free) to his audience of around 2k followers, and five of them ended up buying our service. See the power of value-addition?

My story might not matter but it'll gently touch your interior and remind you how smarter you are. Google forced to include numbers:

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store