If you are interested in effectively marketing your business to this Trillion-Dollar market segment, there are four very important points you must understand generally about doing business with people within this demographic group:
1. That many disabled consumers tend to feel a greater sense of vulnerability dealing with others. Because of their disabilities, it may take a little more effort to win their confidence.
2. Generally, people with disabilities don't want to feel as if they're being patronized by those with whom they do business. However, they do want to feel confident that they're being dealt with honestly and fairly, AND that those with whom they do business really do care enough to make a meaningful effort to accommodate any individual "special needs" they may have.
3. That the failure of any business or professional practice to make it widely known that it is sensitive to the special needs of people with disabilities will tend to have an adverse effect on that business's image in the community, regardless of whether or not that particular business is "ADA-Compliant" according to law.
4. That the Americans With Disabilities Act doesn't always work for Americans with disabilities, and that simply "being ADA-Compliant" (i.e., meeting the minimum physical accessibility standards set by law) will usually not be enough to guarantee that disabled consumers will actually feel confident and safe when they visit your retail business or professional office. And if they don't, they won't be back.
[ Why is ADA compliance not enough? | No Java? ]
Although some may not even fully realize it themselves (or may be reluctant to admit they feel that way), most disabled consumers have a very strong need to feel a sense of symbiosis with those with whom they contemplate doing business on a regular basis, substantially moreso than their non-disabled counterparts.
The Psychological Importance of Symbiosis in Business Relationships ...
For any sort of interpersonal relationship to survive for a significant length of time, such a relationship must be truly symbiotic (i.e., mutually beneficial – and perceived as mutually beneficial – by all parties involved).
Important examples of symbiotic human relationships include: Husband and Wife; Doctor and Patient; Lawyer and Client; Buyer and Seller of any products or services in a venue where an ongoing relationship may exist, now or in the future.
The symbiosis concept as it applies to business relationships is discussed in a short "pop-up" article near the top of this page, just below the "symbiosis definition". If you missed that link, but really don't understand why a high degree of symbiosis is so vital to the success of your business and want to learn more, we'll give you another link, because it is important.
While the word "symbiosis" has become a popular buzzword in the business community over the past few years, many don't really understand the concept. It might be worth your while to take a few moments and read "More on Symbiosis in Business" before continuing further with this "Demographics" article. (If your browser is not Java-equipped, or if you're viewing this page in translation mode, click here instead.)
Are you working to maintain a symbiotic relationship with your existing customers?
And most importantly, have you made a meaningful effort to let your prospective customers know that you are willing and able to meet their needs?