Don't Ask Jeeves, Ask Your Customers!
Do you know what they really want?
POSTED BY KIRSTY PARRIS ON 14/12/2018 @ 8:00AM
It's that time of the year when we spend hours walking around shops or researching on the internet to find the perfect gift to give to our loved ones. In many cases, we do a bit of face-to-face research beforehand ...
The best way to find out what your customers want is to ask them!
photo by kira auf der heide on unsplash
We may ask the intended recipient what they would like for Christmas to ensure that we make the right match. The reward for all this effort? Seeing smiling faces and creating a magical experience.
"So, why don't we always give that level of attention and thought to our potential customers for our businesses?"
However good your product or service, the simple truth is that no-one will buy it if they don't want or need it. And you won't persuade anyone to buy from you unless you clearly understand what they really want, need and expect.
Most people in business never stop to ask their customers what they really want, need and expect. It costs nothing to ask and can be done quickly and easily. Proving or eliminating assumptions you have made can instantly boost your sales and profits.
A common mistake is to decide for your customers what they want, need and expect, without first talking to them about it or without doing your research.
So, ask your existing customers what made them buy from you. Ask them what outcome or outcomes they were looking for when they approached you in the first place. Ideally, you need to prepare a minimum of 10 questions to ask, but make sure you give thought to what you're asking.
What is the best way to ask these questions? When I'm asked this, my response is invariably the same: it depends on you, your business and what resources you have.
Here a few suggestions:
Call them - ask them before launching into your questions and explain what you're trying to do. You want them to want to help so schedule a time to this with them.
Send out a questionnaire - maybe with a reward/gift of some kind.
Online survey - ask your customers to respond to an easy to use survey and get valuable insights in a matter of minutes.
Meet for lunch/coffee - This is time intensive, but could be invaluable. It's also an opportunity to develop your business relationships.
My top tips for getting the answers you need:
Make sure you take the time over the questions you want the answers to. There's no point asking them something that has no relevance. Seems obvious, right? Well, I've been on the receiving end of many surveys and have been asked the most pointless questions. I'm sure you have been too.
For each question you ask, what is the action that you will take from it? Will it be a marketing action or a business process action? Write it down and plan!
Select the customers that you think will be the most receptive and ask them for their help. Don't just assume they will give it.
Use this information - don't just sit on it!
The answers will help you to understand, identify and most importantly determine and address the real needs of your prospects and customers. You will understand what motivates them to act. You can then focus more accurately on the key issues behind their buying decisions and their hopes, dreams, fears, and desires.
The research will give you a much clearer insight into what the key issues behind your customer's buying decisions are. You will be able to identify what their real needs are. You will be more aligned with what your future customers are looking for and therefore be able to target your marketing more effectively.
"Would you like to know more?"
So don't ask Jeeves, ask your customers and if you'd like some help with that then ask Kirsty. Give me a call on 07521 790284 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.
Merry Christmas and I wish you all a prosperous New Year!
Until next time ...
More about Kirsty Parris ...
I'm Kirsty Parris and I specialise in helping business owners, like you, to realise the true potential of your business. Whether that is getting you back on track with your business plan or helping to devise and implement new plans that you never thought possible.
Some of my clients see me as a coach, a mentor, a consultant and some even as a financial therapist!
Based near Milton Keynes I primarily work with owner managed and family businesses between London and Birmingham.
I offer a broad spectrum of business development services including business coaching, business growth planning, sales and marketing support, personnel support and systems reviews.
I am not just another business consultant as I see the job through with implementation should you require it and I will work with you on a retained basis as an addition to your team or on a project by project basis...your call...and there is no tie in. You work with me for as long as you are seeing the results.
Your minimum requirement? You need to be ambitious enough to reach or exceed your personal and business potential. Together we will make it happen!
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