Reality Show Business Lesson: The Apprentice Teaches A Success Lesson…

I’m slightly ashamed to say it but there was a time a few years back when I was devoted to The Apprentice. This was the non-“celebrity” version of the show in which Donald Trump tried to find the next great business exec from a patch of overly emotional but ivy-league-pedigreed candidates.

While I really can’t explain why this show was appointment television for me, I can at least to one nugget of wisdom I pulled from the show. After awhile, it became very, very easy for me to tell which team would win and which wouldn’t. My secret to guessing was…

…talking to customers.

It seemed like every single winning team took the time to actually talk to customers or the general public when coming up with their marketing pitch. The losing team, without fail, would neglect to get any feedback from potential customers.

It’s so simple but it’s crucial for success not only on oddly compelling reality TV but in business life as well. The more you talk to your customers, the more successful you’ll become. The closer your pulse on what your customers want and don’t want, the better you’ll be able to serve them.

Don’t try to come up with marketing materials on your own. Ask your customers how they’d market your business. Ask customers what they’d change about your site. Bring them into the conversation and they’ll be eternally grateful.

I guess I can say I actually learned something from watching reality TV. Wow.

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