By Dick Wooden on April 19, 2011 at 8:02 AM
Your Ideal is.....
Don’t assume you know what it is that your customers value most about what you do – ask them! Ask lots of them. Specifically, ask your ideal customers and then really listen to them. Look for patterns to emerge.
I’m going to say this again, because it’s so crucial: To do this, you have to be quiet and listen. Stop selling. This is called customer relationship building. It’s also called researching what sets you apart from similar businesses. If nothing sets you apart, then customers will make their decision based on cost alone.
Is your product or service a commodity? I didn’t think so. Your business does have different people with different levels of skills and experiences. You have different processes and systems developed in solving a customers challenges. Differentiation means you have to stand out from the crowd. If you haven’t yet nailed down what makes you unique, do it 'stat' – as my family in the nursing profession would say. Do it immediately, yesterday – you get the idea. Find out what your customers value, what you do really well. Then do more of it.
Wait – let’s go back up there to where I said something about your ideal customer. Do you know who that is? If you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for negative buzz, according to John Jantsch in The Referral Engine. And I’m sure you don’t want that.
Start by answering these two questions:
- Who is it that you can help make money, save time, save energy, save money or at least not lose it, or feel better about themselves?
- What are the characteristics of your current customers who are most profitable to you and who refer you most often?
Start with that information, and deepen your profiles by answering these questions about these folks, quoted from Jantsch in The Referral Engine:
• “What brings them joy?”
• “What are they worried about?”
• “What challenges do they face?”
• “What do they hope to gain from doing business with you?”
• “What goals are they striving for?”
• “Where do they get their information?”
• “Who do they trust most?”
Chances are you’ll see patterns in these customer profiles as well as in with what they say they value most about your business.
First, identify and learn all you can about your ideal customers, then ask them what your business does that means the most to them.
- Listen carefully to what they tell you,
- Do more of what they say sets you apart, and
- Market the heck out of it to see your business go from effective to outstandingly buzz-worthy.
Where are you sharing details of your ideal customers' characteristics?