Do you know who your Customer is, really?

Do you know who your customer is? No, I mean, really know?

Do you understand why they buy from you? What are their motivations? How does their life or business or self-image change once they have done business with you?

When a colleague asks you, “Who do you sell to?”, do you answer (or even think to answer) “Anyone”?

If “Anyone” is your response, and if you are successful at selling to Anyone, you must be selling toilet paper or soap. I can think of very few other items that are so broadly accepted, so emphatically sought-after that the marketing message could be as simple as “Toilet Paper Sold Here” and the subsequent success would be heralded by the Harvard Business Review.

If I’m wrong, please email me immediately and set me straight.

And tell me how I can buy your stock.

For those of you who can tell me exactly who bought from you last week, last year and five years ago, I applaud you. And I know without asking that you take the action that most do not:

You talk to your customer.

You are asking them questions beyond, “what do you want to buy from me today?”.

Knowing your customer – and I mean, The Customer, the one you really want to attract – means you are not only asking them questions but you are speaking their language. You know their issues, their trials and tribulations. You know how they have struggled during the pandemic and how they have survived. Or not.

So what kind of questions, what kind of conversations, should you be having with your customer?  Friends and Neighbors, you need to be asking questions way beyond, what color of [insert product or service here] are you most likely to purchase?

You need to be asking questions like these:

  • How long have been in the community (if you are selling to your immediate community and not strictly online)?
  • How did you find us?
  • Have you shopped for this [product or service] before? What was your experience?

And ultimately try to get answers to deeper questions like these:

  • Where else do you shop?
  • What do you do in your leisure time?
  • What festivals or local events do you typically attend (again, if you are selling to your local community)?

As you get to know them, you can do even deeper (yes, do not be fearful; they will tell you):

  • How frequently do you purchase this product or service?
  • What triggered the action to seek my help/product?
  • What are your expectations after you purchase my product/service?
  • How will your life change if your expectations are met?

So, of course, you know I’m going to recommend you to do something with this invaluable information you have collected. That’s the magic.

You can use it in all forms of your communication with your current clients as well as your prospective clients: from billboards to social media marketing to direct mail advertising to video marketing.

Consider this ideal customer (aka Your Avatar) when you are

• deciding what new products or lines of service to bring into your business

• what language you should use in your social media. No, not Spanish vs English, but current jargon vs highly technical jargon. Or Hollywood film references vs classical literature references.

The list is endless.

Here’s an example of how different avatars might lead to different language or even different imagery in your blog post, your social media:

Swarovski is the 120-year old company based in Austria. Unbelievably beautiful crystal jewelry and marketed different ways, to different audiences with different messaging. Swarovski markets to a higher-end client: someone who doesn’t necessarily need to look at the price tag to know if s/he wants to buy. Many of their jewelry and jewelry sets are worn by the woman making a statement. [See the left side photo below from Facebook.]

Touchstone Crystal is also manufactured by Swarovski but this brand is marketed primarily to North American women who are purchasing beautiful jewelry for themselves or as gifts. These women are more price-sensitive, more approachable. [See the right side photo below.] Subtle differences in imagery and language make a difference in how your customer receives the message and how they expect to be treated by the brand.

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