Step 7: What does my typical, ideal customer look like?
I can tell you that if you are assuming, you are going to lose. Not just that, you have no right to tell me what you think I want. If I’m your client, you need to ask me.
When I go into a hair salon, I’m not served a drink: a cup of coffee, tea, soda pop, or juice costs the salon owner just about 50 cents, but they don’t think to ask me if I want something. If it were my business, I sure would. For me, the salon that starting doing that would not only keep my business, but it would cause me to start recommending my friends to them.
Why is that many dentists make people wait, then don’t bring their patients a drink, they don’t have their patients’ favorite magazine ready when they come in? Here’s the reason: it’s because they haven’t taken the time to ask. The dentist who does this will win my business for life and I’ll be singing their praises all over town. Do you think the dentist will get richer or poorer for serving me like that? He’ll get a lot richer, right? And so will you if you take the time to learn what your customers want and you take the time to serve them.
Remember this again: you are open for your customers. It’s far easier to get people to buy from you if you are focused on serving them, giving them great value, thinking about their needs, keeping the Golden Rule as your center. Ask yourself, “If I were in the shoes of my customer, what would I like the business owner to do for me?”
Seriously, if you miss this, you can still be successful, but operating without wisdom doesn’t put your business in the best position to be successful. And you’re actually doing a disservice to your customers. I believe you have a moral obligation to serve them at the highest level. We’re going to come back to that over and over again and unpack it because it’s so powerful.
In the world today, there is far too much selling going on. It’s “sell, sell, sell”. As consumers, it has been said that we are faced with over 30,000 commercial messages per day. From the billboards we see, to the TV commercials, to posters, newspaper ads, all the way down to the logos on our toothpaste. 30,000 per day!
I want you to have a business that doesn’t depend on sell, sell, sell. Wouldn’t it be nice if you launched a new product or service and your customers just lined up to buy it from you? In fact they demanded it. “Let me buy it! Why do I have to wait?” That would be awesome, wouldn’t it?
• The customer’s beliefs
• The customer’s desires
• The customer’s feelings
As you build your research, you will want to fill out each of these categories. So how do you go about that? You start looking for clues that give you an idea of the way people are thinking. You may not get direct answers, but you can build profiles from the clues you discover.
Here’s a list of questions to consider:
• What are their dreams?
• What are their frustrations?
• What are the popular websites they visit?
• What challenges do they consistently face?
• What irritates them?
• What do they rave about?
• What turns them off?
• What are recurring themes that keep coming up?
• What words or special vocabulary do they use?
• What is the common age range, education level, physical location, sex, income, marital status, hobbies, values, and religious persuasion?
• Are they in a generation that normally likes to watch videos or read books?
• What are they willing to pay for?
• How much are they willing to spend?
• What do they want or need that they feel they’re not getting from anyone else in the industry?
That’s quite a list isn’t it? Do you think if you knew this about your customers that you could market to them better? You sure could.
If you could take the time to understand your customers better:
• It will be easier to market to them because you understand what motivates them;
• It will lower your cost of getting those customers;
• You will be able to create products or services that appeal to them;
• It will help you make friends with them and create that bond of trust a lot faster. People will like you more if you take the time to understand them. This raises their trust in you and people will buy more from you, and more frequently.
Let me give you one idea here and then we’re going to look at a step-by-step system to gather your research.
This is a simple trick that is often overlooked. When I decided to create these business courses, I knew that some people would want to access them on their smart phones, some would go on their computers, some would like to watch videos, some would prefer to listen to the audio version, and some would prefer to read the material. I couldn’t assume that all the students would be satisfied with going through a simple online textbook. Therefore, I created something that anyone could appreciate, no matter what method of learning they preferred.
Let’s say that you developed a website and you and you know that 65% of your customers prefer to watch videos and 35% prefer to read books. You can discover this simply by asking them, then recording that information next to their names. Then when you send a visitor to a web page, you send the ones who like to watch videos to a page with a video message.
The ones who like to read will be sent to a page with a written message. You’re communicating to them in a way they prefer and their response to your message will be much higher.
Section 5: Research
Step 7: Your Ideal Customer
We’re going to spend some time on this today, and you need to spend much more time on this in the next few days because this person is the one you’ll be serving with your time and energy and if you do it the right way, they will richly reward you.
You need to understand your customer better than your competitors do. If you understand them better and serve them better in a way that they appreciate, then you will win their favor and your business will grow at the expense of your competition.
Business is all about your customer. It’s not about you. It’s not what you want to sell. It’s about what your customer is willing to buy. That’s why you need to understand your target market. You see, it’s not about me. I certainly have an idea of what my clients need, but I can’t assume. I have to let them tell me.
Think about this for a minute. If you want to have a business that can run on auto-pilot without you, you actually have to do the work up front. This is the first step. Here’s what happens:
There are three primary categories I’d like you to build your customer research around.