Lets face it. Now more than ever, people have the power of choice in choosing their products and services. We have to compete with all those other businesses that are trying hard to provide similar services and to the exact same people we are trying to convert into customers. How do you get people to notice you and buy your product over someone else?
The answer is simple: you must become one with your customer; you have to put yourself in the mindset of future customers by honing in on their natural tendencies, thoughts and instincts. Once you understand what drives your ideal customers, you can start providing them value by crafting your marketing and products towards helping them solve their problems (i.e. saving them time, providing a professional product quickly, saving them money).
How to think like your customer
Marketing gurus recommend coming up with a buying persona or an ideal customer. This requires really brainstorming about who you are trying to sell to. Traditionally, people automatically just think of demographics (age, gender, location, income, etc). However, your ideal customer has so much more to tell you if you are willing to do some research.
Really think about:
What do they value/care about
Where do they frequently go
Where do they get their information
What do they do every day
What is a problem they have that you can solve
Why wouldn’t they use your product
Case in Point: A Well Known Chicken Sandwich Restaurant
Anyone who knows me, knows that my family loves this chicken sandwich restaurant… their food, their atmosphere, their culture! Why do you think they make a point to display their “wholesome” values? It’s because they have done their research and they know that their customers care about showing courtesy, family involvement, ambient Christian background music, etc. At most fast food restaurants, customer service is key but this restaurant takes their good customer service a step further. All of their employees reply with “My Pleasure” when they are thanked. This is something so simple but customers take notice of it and appreciate the courtesy and they come away feeling valued!
Where do you get information about your client’s values?
OK. So, I have sold you on why its important to think like your customer and figure out what attracts them. But where do you get this information if you are a small business without the budget of a marketing department?
GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND: Type into Google your keyword and groups/forums/meet ups (i.e. “moms groups”, “new moms forums”, “moms meet ups in Fayetteville NC”). Read up on where your ideal customer can be found and what they are talking about.
Google Analytics: If you haven’t set up a Google Analytics account for your website, do it! Google collects tons of demographic information for you about viewers on your website. It can tell you where people are searching for your business, age, if they are using their phones to research you, how long they are spending on your page, and much more.
Go to Bookstores: Go to a bookstore or library. Look at books and magazines targeting your assumed target customers. What topics do they cover? What ads do they use? How often do they publish new information?
Imitation is the Greatest form of flattery: Let the bigger companies do the work for you! Look at how they are targeting customers and copy that style or strategy. Trust me. They have spent the money to have teams of professionals figure out who to market towards and how to connect with them. Save your time and money and just follow their examples.
Now you really understand your customers’ needs, how do you give them what they want?
This can be as easy as changing how you speak to customers. Start using buzz words in your business content and advertisements that your clientele will respond emotionally to.
You can reevaluate your services. Is there room to make more accommodations for your customers needs? Consider how you deliver your services and goods. Can you tweak something that will make your customer’s life easier?
There are tons of whys you can convey to consumers that you understand and value them. Just remember that if you go out of your way to help others, they will take notice and are more likely to use your services over a competitor.
To Recap on why researching your future clients can help bring in more clients and make your life easier
This is all about creating a relationship with your clients. If you can show people that you value them and you understand their needs, they will come back time and again. They will tell their friends about you and encourage them to use your product. Lastly, it will save you time in the long run. Instead of trying to appease the masses that may never be interested in your product, you are concentrating on people that you know will want your product and you can help them solve their problems.