If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own. - Henry Ford
If a small business owner such as yourself can learn one thing in the next 6 months about how to run a successful small business, this quote will sum it all up for you. Being able to identify with your customer/client is the number one way to ensure you’re building a proper marketing plan to reach them, and also using the right strategy to reel them in and generate that sale. In this edition of Quotable Business I want to touch on some thoughts on how you can build success as a small business by reading your prospects mind and thinking like a consumer.
I was recently reading the Guerrilla Marketing book and came across a passage in it that struck me as somewhat odd, until I re-read it and really understood what it was talking about. It gave an overview on how a guerrilla marketer thinks. How the guerrilla thinks backwards from the sale and thinks to himself/herself:
- How did this prospect get to the point of purchase?
- What did they see or hear that made them come here?
- What did I do that grabbed their attention?
- How can I grab the right prospects attention and generate sales?
By backwards thinking, you can examine the results first and then more easily connect with the earlier steps in the selling process. If you were to sit and try and think of ideas on how to sell your product, it would take a lot longer then answering the simple question: “Why did this person buy from me?”
Understanding the customer mind
Think like the consumer. If you were in the market for “product X” (the product or service you’re selling), what would be things you’re looking for in order to make an informed decision on what to buy? What questions should you ask yourself in order to better understand the customer mind? It might be easier then you think, seeing as how you buy things every day. For instance, if you are looking for toothpaste, what are some things you think of when picking out the right toothpaste.
- Do I need whitening?
- Do I want regular flavor or mint/lemon/ect?
- Do I need extra plaque fighting toothpaste
- and so on
So, by simply thinking like the consumer and answering the questions you’d ask yourself, you can get the correct answers and build off of that. Real life example:
I run a blog design business. I am currently rebuilding the entire website and branding efforts and have recently gone through this process as well. Here’s some of the questions I asked myself as the customer.
- Why do I want to write? for fun or profit?
- If for profit, how will a custom design increase my revenue?
- If for fun, can the potential designer create something that fits me perfectly as a person and blends into the topic seamlessly
- What kind of extras do I want, like customized front page layouts, video blogging abilities, ect.
The list went on and on, but you get the point I am trying to make. By building this list, you can definitely have a full understanding of who you’re targeting as far as your clients and customers go.
Building your marketing strategy
I talked about this before and laid out a simple 7 sentence guide to building your own Guerrilla Marketing strategy and implementing it. For those of you who haven’t read it yet, I’d recommend it either now, or at a later time.
Once you go through the process of thinking like the customer, you have to build a marketing strategy that revolves around their thought processes. Showcasing your consulting services inside of a child day care will not reach your target market. Showcasing your consulting services as “fast and affordable” will not grab your target market by the heart and make them believe that they need to purchase from you. Once you can think like the customer, you can sell the customer more easily. Now, get out there, think like a customer, and build a good marketing and branding strategy.
Feel free to comment on this article with your product or service and I can help give you some pointers on some questions you should answer to better think like the consumer in your target market.