Many entrepreneurs think from the business prospective and not their customers. They do this because they know the business well and do not know enough about their customers to speak their customer’s language. Consequently many entrepreneurs spend far too much time trying to sell their products or services and overlook what their customers actually need or want.
An example of this: I often see weight loss businesses professing that their diet plan, drug programme (natural or otherwise) and/or exercise regime will help their target customer lose weight. If you were a typical customer who was struggling to lose 8cm from around the waist and maintain a healthy weight, which of the following two messages would speak to you?
· ‘To help you lose weight’ – speaking to the need or pain here?
· ‘To help you look great in jeans’ – speaking to the want or pleasure here?
Freud described the Pleasure principle (psychology) of people seeking pleasure and avoiding pain.
A business should know their customers need or pain and speak to their wants and pleasures. More marketing messages will hit the target by meeting the customer specific need through understanding the customers want or pleasure. The wants motivate potential customers into taking action and therefore the business will receive the best return on the limited marketing investment.
Peter Drucker said ‘The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits them and sells itself’.
The best way to understand what your customers want and need is simply to ask them at every touch point or interaction in varying and intelligent ways; use of indirect and direct questions such as competitions, feedback forms, blog comments, face to face and follow-up.
To succeed in business entrepreneurs must prioritise consistent and continuous research systems into knowing and understand their customer:
· Know who your customers are (demographic details), their frustrations and what they need and want.
· Know how to reach your customers (where they hang out and associate) and how frequently they wish you to communicate with them.
· Know what it is in your brand that the customer identifies with, what values they share.
· Measure the relative success of different marketing strategies, thus improving return on investment.
The Forbes article states: ‘All too often, entrepreneurs spend their energy on everything but having conversations with current and potential customers. It should be crystal clear to all of us that thoroughly knowing and understanding our customers and delivering what they want is the ultimate key to success.’ http://onforb.es/KvHh5e
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Janice B Gordon: The Problem Solver Business Growth Consultant, Mentor, Speaker and Author. Business Evolution – Creating Growth in a Rapidly Changing World will give you the guidance you need to evolve you and your business and exceed your customers wants and needs.