Take a Walk in Your Customer’s Shoes
One of the most important things you can do to increase your chances of getting your messages heard is to find your target audience. There are a ton of articles out there teaching you how to do this.
Everyone wants you to answer questions like – is your best fan a man or a woman? Do they have kids or are they single or grandparents? What income box do they check when describing their income level?
We can ask and answer questions all day until we find our perfect customers. And then we’re left with this really long list of characteristics about this person.
Have you ever stopped to think about how this information will help get these people to buy your products or services?
Because it’s not just about whether your stuff is cooler than the guys down the street. That use to work in the days before we could type out a question on our phones and come up with the answer and where to buy it with a click and touch of a screen.
Now we have to dig deeper to make the sale. We have to show your target customers that your company is a problem solver to that question they just typed into the search engine.
Marketing Yourself as a Problem Solver
To put your company in this place, you need to ask yourself the basic question – What problem does my product or service solve?
Let’s take that down even further:
- Does my product make my customer’s life easier?
- Will my service help them do things quicker?
- Does my stuff give them more value for less cost than the others?
I realize your answers to these questions are great for businesses that sell directly to customers but what if you sell to another business? For those of you who sell to other businesses, you’ll need to take this a step further.
To grow your business to business, you need to understand more than just your customers. You need to understand your customer’s customer and how your business can help them make more sales.
To help you understand how your company can become like a team player instead of just a vendor, think about doing a little research:
- Learn about the other choices (your competition) and their suppliers that they could use instead of buying from your company. Find your competitors’ websites and social network sites and see how they compare to your company.
- Take the time to talk to your customers and learn more about their top issues and concerns. Ask them to give you a picture of what their customer’s experience is like and what part of their sales process causes them problems.
When you get a chance to talk to your customer about their business, ask them the following questions:
- What part does your business play in their sales cycle?
- Can your service or product help them get to their sales goals faster?
- How can your benefits help your customer sell to their customer?
- How can you focus on your customer’s business concerns?
And really spend some time online doing some research. The top 5% sales people schedule time in their day to look up a company before they set an appointment. They read, analyze and monitor what’s going on in their industry.
They don’t have anything more to help them with their research than you already have in your laptop or smart phone.
There’s a ton of information out in the interwebs for you to read to help you become a more effective partner to the businesses that you sell to. When your customers see how you understand how to get them more customers, there’s no longer a need for a sales pitch.
Understanding your customer’s problems and how your benefits are their solutions is the key to getting repeat business. Take the time to answer these questions and you should start to see the full picture of how your products or services solve your customers’ problems.
You’ll realize that you’ll know your customer so well that you’ll start giving them what they want even before they ask for it.
Photo credit: Army Photography Contest