Did you know that Colgate once tried to expand into the food business? Or that Harley Davidson actually tried to launch a perfume range? Unsurprisingly, both were abject failures, because they misunderstood who their customers were, how their brand was perceived, and why people bought their products.
It’s easy to make that sort of mistake if you’re not crystal clear about who is buying from you and why.
What do you need to know about your customers?
- Who are they? No, really, exactly who are they? Review age, gender, occupation, economic status, education level, where they live and work. Explore their lifestyle, interests, values and aspirations.
- What are their main problems? What’s getting in the way of solving them?
- What solution do you offer – and why is it better than someone else’s?
- What made them buy your product this time – or what turned them off?
You need to understand your audience at a deep level – otherwise, you can’t effectively connect with and eventually sell to them.
By becoming a “mind reader”, you will be able to:
- Talk their language. You’ll know what messages are most likely to strike a chord with them, and be more persuasive.
- Develop products, and a service style that ticks all of their boxes.
- Create imaginative offers that motivate them to buy – now!
- Make the urge to tell their friends irresistible.
How do you find out what’s in your customer’s head?
1. Ask when they buy
If you have a store or office and see your customers face to face, the best opportunity is when they’ve just purchased – it’s the easiest, most natural time to talk. Train all your front line team members to ask the right questions.
2. Send a post sale survey
Build this into your post-sale routine. Check out SurveyMonkey – it’s a free tool that allows you to build a customised survey and deliver it by email.
3. Give a bonus for feedback
McDonalds is using this technique right now, with their How Was Your Experience offer. Customers posting feedback online get free fries, chicken or ice cream.
4. Coffee and a chat
Choose a small number of customers and take them for a coffee or lunch. Find out what you’re doing well and where you’re missing the mark. This is a good time to fly any new product ideas and see how they react.
How can you dig a little deeper into your customers’ minds next week?