Get to Know Your Customers
Who Are Your Potential Customers
You must get to know your customers and be very clear about potential customers regardless of the type of business you have – an online business or a brick and mortar shop. Pay attention!
If you are selling online, find out the type of people who are visiting your site. Learn as much about them as possible. Track your metrics and look at visitor profiles. Use this information to focus your marketing efforts. Make sure everything you do is targeted to your potential buyers.
If you’re offline, watch the people who come into your shop, talk to them, get to know them, find out what they are looking for that you may not yet offer.
You not only want to make a sale today, but you want them to come back again and again. Building a strong base of loyal, repeat customers is your goal.
What Do Your Customers Need
What do you customers want and what do they need? If you want to establish a long-term successful business, your products or services must fulfill their needs or solve their problems. If your sales are minimal, it is very possible that you are falling short of that goal. When that is the case, you must ask yourself, “How can I improve my products or services to meet their needs?”
The other option is to change your focus and target a different customer base by asking yourself, “What type of customer would benefit from my products or services as they are right now?”
Focus on Relationships, Not Sales
Your primary goal must always be to build relationships. When customers first show interest in your business, resist the urge to SELL them something. Focus on how you can help them. Find ways to interact and start building a bond that will bring them back again and again.
This means that they may not buy anything today – or tomorrow, but if the relationship is sound, they will come again and buy another day. Focusing on relationship building is the strategy that creates loyal fans.
Create a Two-Way Dialog
The best method I know for building relationships is to establish a solid two-way communication. Have an “open door” that encourages them to reach out and interact with you – be sure you respond! Social media is the perfect vehicle for this . . . and yes, offline businesses can and should have a strong social media presence.
Find Out Who They Are Buying From
Find out where your potential customers are buying right now, and how they feel about it. If you cannot gather this information any other way, ask them. It will help you identify their tastes and buying habits. You may have a product or service to offer (or have the ability to develop something) that your competitors do not have.
Look at Your Business from Their Perspective
Step outside yourself and look at your business from their vantage point. It will be easier to understand the wide range of buying options they have, plus the pros and cons of every option. It will also help you identify and strengthen your competitive edge.
Find and Use Effective Tools
Online tools for getting to know your customers are available in abundance. A metrics tool such as Google Analytics can supply data such as the demographics on site visitors, how they found your site, and their behavior while they are visiting. Towerd@ta, analyzes email addresses, and Woopra is a good behavior analysis service,
There are also more active tools such as SurveyMonkey, which helps you create surveys that will provide more detailed information about your customers.
Never Assume You Know Your Customers
The popular saying about assuming does not quite fit the online business world. It is more accurate to say, “When you assume, you are working from your own head and are likely be out-of-touch and become irrelevant in your market.” Never assume that you know what your customers want and need. Use the hard data that is available and what your customers have to say.
Make Face-time Happen
Whether online or off, you should value the actual face-to-face time you get to spend with your customers. Phone calls and emails can be helpful for getting to know them, but there is nothing like actually spending time with them if at all possible. Always make face-time a top priority.
It is easy to focus on demographics and behaviors, but you must go deeper – get to know how they think and feel. This a facet of psychographics – The study and classification of people according to their attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria, especially in market research. In order to address their real needs, solve problems, or ease a pain, feelings are extremely important. Don’t overlook this point.
More to come, watch for the next post!