Part 2 in the CLEAR business development planning system is ‘L’ – what are your target Customers (identified in Part 1) looking for?
Not what you want to sell them, what do THEY want to buy? And why? Successful business development requires us to regularly walk in our customer’s shoes and appreciate what they are looking for. Part 2 helps us check-in, reflect and counter our bias wanting to sell what we have and what we believe they need.
What are your target Customers, that you have decided you want, looking for throughout their journey in searching, assessing, buying, and using your product/service?
You want to create raving fans because word of mouth is by far the cheapest and most common lead generator in any kind of business.
What are your Customers looking for specifically?
Not just shallow stuff, I mean the deep and meaningful stuff. The emotions of using or buying your product/service, the core drivers such as pain points they are wanting to eliminate. And any new innovations or trends they might be aware of. The clearer you are on this the more your message and marketing actions will hit the right buttons. Leads and conversions will increase.
How to Identify What the Customer is Looking for?
To succeed in business development you MUST be in-tune with your Customers needs. And it’s an ongoing process. You never stop seeking to understand your customers.
The fisherman that doesn’t pay attention to the lack of bites, change in preference of bait and where the fish are moving to doesn’t eat!
Here’s a reminder of some of the ways you can confirm what your customers are looking for and I can help you identify suitable strategies and the format:
- Brainstorm ideas on a whiteboard with the team, especially those talking to your Customers a lot. Segment your Customer’s experience down into it’s stages and list the things they are looking for in each stage – and review if you are providing them.
- Ask them when next speaking with them. Can be a casual question or more detailed discussion over coffee, lunch or brainstorming session with their team.
- Suggestion box on your counter – make sure staff encourage Customers to fill out the form and keep the form really simple.
- Online survey or post purchase survey. Keep them short! No more than 5 questions. It is important to design your surveys well otherwise they won’t tell you anything useful. I can help you if you need.
- Testimonials – notice what your customers say they liked! This is gold and gives you great insight to what they valued. Make sure you weave this into your marketing copy.
- Read. make sure you stay up to date with your industry and where it’s going. Subscribe to online forums, newsletters etc. Take note of what the trends are overseas because this can give you a competitive advantage if you are one of the first to introduce a new feature/service/product here in Australia.
- Attend conferences, tradeshows etc.
Make a list.
Then make sure you are covering these features/feelings/benefits in your marketing material, website, emails, conversations, POP displays, newsletters etc.
WOW FACTOR – where’s the WOW?
To create raving fans that work for you as your marketers and sales team, you need a wow factor. It’s not hard! Or expensive. Often just the simple little touches add the wow factor. I was standing in line for Christmas and a shop assistant was handing out bottles of water – not expensive but was a welcome jesture and made me feel significant as the customers. Remember one of the six core needs we all have is to feel ‘significant’. I love the fact with Uber I don’t have to pay cash or take a card out of my wallet and go through that process of tapping, waiting for the machine to connect and approve payment, waiting for the taxi driver to print his receipt and then print mine.
What can you do to add some wow? Something worth talking about?
Knowing what your Customers are looking for will help you identify a wow factor. Is it an easier way to purchase, a thank you note/gift, a follow up call, an easier delivery system, a simplified booking system, better labeling, better presentation, better Customer service…?
January is a great time to touch base with Customers and ask them what they’d like to see you provide in 2017, or what they’d like improved. The trick here is to encourage them to suggest anything, regardless of what they think your limitations are. Customers have a preconceived idea of what you can provide…right or wrong.
If you need help coming up with a wow factor, let me know.
So there you go. Steps C and L in the CLEAR business development planning strategy.
Identify your Customer and identify what they are looking for and make sure you are not just meeting but exceeding their expectations. And make sure you are covering what they are looking for in your marketing.
Next step is Earnings. What you want to Earn and how. I’ll cover that in Part 3.