|FEEDBACK EMAIL US|
#2 How Well Do You Know Your Customer?
not as well as you think.
If there is one mistake business owners make more often
than any other, it is probably in assuming they are their
customer, therefore their customers are like themselves.
Well, they may be their customer, but their customers
may not fit that assumed profile.
market successfully to any prospect, a company must know what
the values of that prospect are and how to appeal to them.
And to market successfully and cost effectively,
one must decide which prospects have the highest probability
of becoming customers. That
means you have two sets of data to acquire.
And one is ultimately dependent upon the other.
simplest way to gather the information you need is to start
with a set of assumptions and, then, test them.
To establish those initial assumptions, you need to
start with your existing customer base.
Make a list of your 20-50 most valuable and prized
sure you clearly identify why each one is valuable and prized.
For example, identify those who provide the highest
profit, those with the highest volume, those who pay their
bills within terms, those who require the least handholding,
those who have been the most loyal, and so on.
a folder for each one and rate the customer.
Then ask your sales people (and yourself, if you also
sell directly) and/or you customer service people – anyone
who actually comes in contact, personally, with a customer or
client to write a brief description of the company and/or
individual with whom they deal in each customer.
demographic data (age, sex, marital status, socio-economic
background, what kind of car they drive, favorite types of
music, ethnic background, special interests and hobbies, etc.)
about each one. Get
this information from anyone in the company who has had direct
contact with the customer.
gather from them any psychographic information they have
gleaned from their contacts.
Psychographic data includes such things as their
ambitions, their dreams, what is important to them in their
life, what their relationship is to their company – to their
boss, and anything else that is hard to describe.
For example, are they bucking for a promotion and need
to look good to higher ups?
Are they anxious to please whomever they encounter?
Are they trying to prove something, and to whom?
And so on.
think this stuff isn’t important, just think about
automobile makers. Why you choose the automobile you buy tells far more about
you than about the vehicle itself.
Think not? How
old and in what condition was your old car when you bought
your most recent one? If it was still running and in reasonable condition, then
your purchase was strictly emotional even though you may have
justified it otherwise.
you have to make a purchase, your choice of brand or maker is
determined by emotional factors.
(Price, although most often quoted as an issue, when
actually ranked, comes far down the list – in B2B situations
8 or below). It
is the criteria that stimulate the emotional response that you
need to know.
have your data, you still need to know why your customers do
business with you. If
you haven’t asked them lately, you need to.
It doesn’t take a professional questionnaire, it
simply takes a few phone calls from you.
By the way, what better way to let a customer know that
you appreciate their business than a phone call from the top
analyze the data you have gathered, you should be able to
discern some patterns. For
example, do a preponderance of your customers prefer speaking
with human beings when they call rather than punching buttons
on the phone? Are
they weighted toward family rather than career?
Are they disorganized and tend to wait until the last
minute to call and require quick response?
Do they hate dealing with novices and want answers to
their needs, you now have an idea of what is important to
them. With that
you can begin to build a profile of your high-probability
target market. And
you can create messages to reach them.
remember, none of us buy what we need.
We buy what we want
and convince ourselves that we need it.
Similarly, in business, we choose our suppliers
based on whom we want to deal with,
then we justify that action.
Successful businesses don’t waste time and money
trying to get every prospect; they focus their attention on
those whose wants are well-matched to the company selling to
|WHAT WE DO
HOW WE DO IT
FOR WHOM WE DO IT
For a Printer-friendly version of this article, CLICK HERE.
SITE DESIGNED BY MIDDLECREEK MARKETING