Gone are the days of pushing a product on a random customer base. Most of us, baby boomers and millennials remember when the televisions and newspapers were the most trusted forms of advertisement. In an era where you could not research and verify whether the product they sell is actually good, customers relied heavily upon these forms of outbound marketing.
Today‘s customer is a more curious and knowledgeable buyer. S/he researches the problem they are facing and compares several possible solutions before committing to buying one. No matter how good your product is or how well you serve your customers, the customer will only buy a product that they truly see value in and a product that they are convinced will solve the said problem.
This is where your knowledge of your ideal customer comes in. Contrary to the traditional way of selling, inbound sales in a methodology that is structured around the concept of appealing to, attracting and serving your ideal customer base. This allows you to focus your marketing strategy on a narrower and more fitting segment, so that in the long run you will stand out as the best in that particular niche market. You will have customers turned promoters spreading the message among like minded potential markets. It builds sustainable sales funnels for years to come. As the popular saying goes, “riches are in the niches”. Today I will point out 10 areas that you can focus on when researching your customers. You can talk to your existing customers, conduct surveys, see what your competitors are doing or observe how the market behaves to identify these attributes.
1.Who they are
If you sell directly to individuals (B2C), find out your customers’ gender, age, marital status and occupation. If you sell to other businesses (B2B), find out what size and kind of business they are. For example, are they a small private company or a big multinational?
2. What they do
If you sell directly to individuals, it’s worth knowing their occupations and interests. Sometimes knowing their cultural affiliations and social or political behavior will also help. If you sell to other businesses, it helps to have an understanding of what their business is trying to achieve and what are the main goods and services they offer.
3. Why they buy
If you know why customers buy a product or service, it’s easier to match their needs to the benefits your business can offer. This is very important to try to know the exact reasons they are in the market for. In most instances this can be a pain point that they need to solve.
4. When they buy
Not all of your potential customers are ready to buy right now. There is a journey a buyer goes through from the point they realize they have a problem to solve up until they make a decision to buy the best fit solution. Your customer could be at any of these stages. If you nurture a customer starting from the point they are researching about the problem, you will massively increase your chances of success. This will allow you to help your customer along the buyer’s journey, so that when he is ready to make the buying decision you will be the most attractive solution.
5. How they buy
Some people prefer to buy from a website, while others prefer a face-to-face meeting. This could depend on the product or service you’re selling. For example, If the amount they spend is high, it is more likely that the buyer would want to meet in person.
6. How much money they are willing to spend
You’ll be more successful if you can match or even compete with your competitors’ prices with what you’re offering, to what you know your customer can afford. You might even be able to define a few variations in the product so that prices would fit customers with different budgets with different needs.
7. What makes them feel good about buying
If you know what makes them tick, you can serve them in the way they prefer.
8. What they expect of you
For example, if your customers expect reliable delivery and you don’t disappoint them, you stand to gain repeat business. You can look into other things including but not limited to consistency, quality, efficiency and professionalism.
9. What they think about you
If your customers enjoy dealing with you, they’re likely to buy more. You can only tackle problems that customers have if you know what they are. A personal touch in customer service will always be appreciated
10.What they think about your competitors
If you know how your customers view your competition, you stand a much better chance of staying ahead of your rivals. Needless to say, you have to always employ this knowledge ethically and professionally only.