Every effective marketer knows that understanding your customers is the key to getting them to buy from you. Trying to sell a product or service without knowing who you’re talking to and what their desires and points of need are is a mistake. Business owners hope that prospective customers would look at their ads and instantly think “that’s what I need, how did they know?” So what is the secret to presenting your offerings in a way that immediately gets the attention of your target market? Sometimes going with your instincts pays off, but it’s hardly a reliable method when important business decisions need to be made. Trial and error is also an option, but a business owner who is swamped will hardly find time to constantly test and tweak till he gets what works. Here are a few practical tips to help you uncover what is really going on in your customers’ minds.
- Identify demographics: The first step is to identify the customers you are targeting. Create a very specific profile of the people you’re looking for, the problems they face and the solutions they will need. Simply stating a gender and an age range will not suffice. Use guidelines like:
Age, Gender, Income, Education and Geographic location.
If you’re a startup, find people in your professional circle that are in your target audience. This does not necessarily include your friends and family.
If your business is already up and running, list about 5 of the best clients you currently have. You must love working with these people and must see them as perfect customers.
- Ask what they think: The next step is to think up questions that will help you determine what they think and why. This may seem obvious, but most business owners skip this step. Ask customers about their problems or needs; don’t guess. Here are a few ways to do this:
Conduct email surveys: to do this, you need a good enough email list. Offer a discount or other compensation for completing the survey. You could also ask customers to fill short forms in your store, also provide incentives for them.
Speak with clients in person: Approach a favorite client or a loyal customer personally and ask for 30 minutes. Again, incentive or thank you gifts will help. You will not only get new ideas, you will also get amazing feedback to validate or void your plans and avoid wasting time and money.
Host ideal customers: some entrepreneurs will create a focus group and host ideal customers for a brunch or other social meeting. This approach encourages organic conversation, as these customers will share their challenges and goals and make their own connections with one another. You’ll deliver them a memorable experience, meanwhile, and gain valuable intelligence at the same time.
Some questions you can ask are: what is your biggest challenge? What makes you dissatisfied with my product or service? What outcome do they desire when they patronize you? What are your interests, habits and hobbies?
- Echo your clients: To achieve those “how did you know what i wanted?” moments, echoing your clients is the most critical step. Instead of guessing the words your customers used, make a copy of the exact words and use the exact same words in your ads. This way, you’ll not only avoid unnecessary jargon, but also make customers feel as though you’ve created something just for them. Link to “their” pain points and problems: For example, your clients may use words like “overwhelmed”, “confused” and “paralyzed” rather than “challenged.” When you use those words in your content, they will instantly respond.