This is the question. The big one. The one that often elicits a rather stunned response when I ask business owners ‘do you know your customers?’
No matter what business you’re in or how big you are, it’s really important to understand who your customers are, and who you would like them to be.
Just saying ‘my customers are small businesses’ isn’t going to cut it here I’m afraid, you need to be much more specific.
Only by really understanding who you are currently working with, and who you want to be working with, will you be able to actually do anything about it.
All of your marketing, your sales and your hard work is centred around who your customers are.
Thankfully, I can answer that question in 8 words – so you know how to sell to them. Right, let’s move on.
Understanding your customers is the secret to successful selling.
Existing customers are important sources of information and by using that information you can start to increase their spending as well as attracting new customers.
In fact, the data you gather from your customers is the most valuable resource you could ask for – it makes it easier to distinguish why they bought from you and why they stay.
Sometimes, the reasons they give are completely different to what you think. It also helps you spot opportunities to sell them new products and helps you target your marketing to what they actually want – instead of what you want to sell. BIG difference.
You can learn when each customer segment is ready to receive your message to maximise conversion rates and boost your sales revenue with customised products or services.
It might sound like a lot of work, but once you’ve invested a bit of time in creating a customer profile, it’s simply a matter of maintenance.
CREATE A CUSTOMER PROFILE
While the phrase ‘customer profile’ might seem a bit rigid, the information you need to collect for it hugely depends on the type of business you run.
For example, if you sell to individual customers, you will want to know their age, gender, location, spending habits and income. If you are selling to other businesses, you will want to focus instead on what sector they are in, how big they are, how much they spend and what other suppliers they use.
You can do this in many different ways, for example; by analysing your existing sales records, talking to your customers or even running a short survey. Generally, customers will be happy to respond, because it usually results in better offers for them.
Using this information, start to build up a database all about your customers. Make sure you include as much feedback as you can about how they rate your products or services, using your records of their purchasing behaviour. Once you’ve created this initial database, you need to make sure you keep it up to date. Otherwise, after about 3 months it’s completely useless. But if you do keep it up, you’ll start noticing trends. Certain times when people are buying more, or less. A particular thing your customers like about your service. All of this is imperative when it comes to increasing your profitability.
The biggest mistake a lot of business owners make is thinking that to increase their sales they must find new customers. Sure, that is one strategy, but another strategy that is quicker, cheaper and easier is to profile your existing customers and actually pay attention to the information they give you. You will find sales going up without much extra effort.
If you aren’t sure how to do this, or what questions you need to be asking, then I can help. I’ve spent a lot of time with business owners of all shapes and sizes, building several of my own B2B and B2C businesses, and talking to thousands of consumers over the years, all of which means I can help you understand your customer better. And isn’t that what we all want? If your answer is yes, get in touch with me today to book your complimentary consultation.