Getting to know your customers…it’s like dating.
As I delve further into growing my own business here at The Marketing Box, I have been trying to continue to grow in my understanding of who my potential customers are, and what makes them tick.
If you can truly identify your customers – who they are, what they like, where they are located, how you can connect with them, and so on, you’re on the right path to growing your business.
In considering this idea of customer discovery, I’ve realised it’s a lot like dating. You’ve got a preconceived idea in your head of the perfect partner, and then you head out to find them. You go to venues where there’s a higher likelihood that you’ll encounter this “perfect partner”. You might see them across the room and you know it’s the one, but more often than not, you strike up a conversation with someone else that is at the venue, decide that they are interesting after all and take the relationship from there.
First you talk. You find out what they like. You try and learn about their interests so that you have something exciting to contribute the next time you see them. Next, you visit their house, you see more about the environment they live in and how they operate. You might also meet their friends – this helps you to understand their connections and you realise they know many people in different circles. Later on you meet their family. This gives you an understanding of why they are the way they are. Why they operate in the manner they do.
With our customers, we need to know who our “perfect buyers” are. Often the idea in our head of who they are evolves as we discover more buyers in the same demographic or geographic space. Be open to this. I have worked with SMEs in the past that were so fixated on reaching a small niche market of buyers that they missed out on many others along the way. They also failed to see that the size of their identified “niche” market was not actually big enough to meet even half of their sales goals.
Similarly, don’t just think that ‘everyone’ is a potential customer. There is a danger in thinking that everyone needs your product or service. Look at who has bought from you in the past, start grouping them by things like their location or the types of products or services they’ve bought from you in the past – what does this say about them?
Once you think you’ve worked out what your “perfect buyers” look like, examine them some more. Just like when you’re dating, discover:
- Who they are connected with (this may represent great opportunities for referral business)
- What they like (so that you can connect with them on a more personal level with your advertising or even just the next time they are in your store)
- Where do they reside – are they on Facebook for example? Connect with them in a location they are comfortable in, by having them “like” your Facebook page. Suddenly your relationship with a customer you might only see a few times a year has developed another level of connection
- Consider the industry / demographic they operating within (i.e. are they restricted with their purchases by season, times, economic influences, etc.)
The dating analogies are endless. The main point being – understand and connect with your customers. Get to know them better than you already do and you’ll be on the path growing your sales and communications.