You have probably heard the Henry Ford statement where he says something along the lines of him knowing 50% of his advertising is effective. The only problem was that he didn’t know which 50%. If he did he did he could cancel the half that was not effective. I think if I was alive in his day I’d have had a quiet word in Henry’s ear [assuming I could reach him] and say, “If you want to know what parts of your marketing work then simply ask your customers.”
Existing customers will tell you all you need to know about why they buy and more importantly, why they continue to buy from you. We all think we know why our clients use us, but do we really?
Before embarking on your next marketing exercise I’d recommend you be extremely clear about what makes you attractive and magnetic to your existing clients. If you aren’t totally clear about why people buy from you already, it’s extremely challenging to craft a marketing piece or campaign that connects with buyers’ actual real life reasons for buying.
As you already know, the easiest way to sell your products or services is to be distinctive from your rivals. What’s your highly discussable point? Why should anyone do business with you over anyone else? If you haven’t already invested any time thinking deeply and developing your USP [Utterly Seductive Proposal] the one of the very best ways to discover your unique qualities is to ask your existing customers what they think. Guessing is one way but it can be a disaster when, and if, you get it wrong. Naturally, we all see our businesses differently than anyone else does from the outside.
In order to find out what makes you rock your clients’ Worlds, and to also get their opinions on your business, here is a list of questions that, when asked enough times to existing clients and ex clients, will leave you with a hidden ‘Blueprint for Victory’.
Questions such as:
1. Why did you contact us in the first place?
2. What is it that we do you can’t get anywhere else?
3. What is missing from our industry as a whole?
4. What could we do that would totally blow your socks off?
5. Is there anything you constantly find yourself putting up with in this industry?
6. If you owned a business like ours, what would you do?
7. What search engine ‘term’ would you use to find a business like ours?
8. What companies do you admire and refer the most?
Just imagine how differently you’d look at your business even if only 15 customers answered each of those questions for you? What would that information be worth to your business? Buy them coffee, call them, email a survey, visit them with a gift, take them sailing in the Greek Islands, …whatever it takes. Ask them if you can get their opinions to help you decide which direction to take your business in, whatever it takes! They’ll be flattered. [‘Whatever it Takes’ is actually a great mindset in which to approach ALL your business activities.]
Your aim is to nail down exactly why you have your existing customers. If you can you will be streaks ahead of your competition. From then on whenever it comes to crafting marketing messages that ‘hit the spot’ with your ideal prospects, you’ll be in pole position and be able to win the lion’s share of new sales enquiries.
People like to give opinions in general, and if you explain to your clients their feedback is incredibly important in plotting the future for your business, they could not help but feel seriously involved in your company. That sense of association will subsequently encourage them to give you referrals without you having to ask. The more you connect with your existing customers, the more they will turn into loyal customers. Loyal customers refer others in your direction, no question.
If you want to send a free, sorry ‘no expense to you’ survey, then visit www.surveymonkey.com
My advice is offer an incentive to get your answers back quickly otherwise they’ll be dribbling in for weeks and you want that valuable information NOW. Send it 11am on a Tuesday and ask for their replies by 6pm on Friday. £10 Coasta Coffee vouchers have worked brilliantly for me for years. Who is your client going to mention when they have coffee with a friend on you?
Let me know how you get on.