Knowing your customer is a key part of your business. That knowledge allows you to get to know them on a greater level rather than just trying to sell them something.
Use the slower time during the summer (or any time that is typically slow) to reconnect with customers and keep your finger on the pulse of what is important to your target audience and how their needs may have changed in relation to your business, market trends or life situations. It is time to evaluate how you differentiate yourself from your competition and provide value to your customers.
When a prospect asks what you do, answering the question with, “We are the top ranking _____” or “We have been chosen as the best service provider for the last two years by _____ magazine,” bumps you to the bottom of the candidate list immediately.
Why? Because that prospect is really asking you, “What can you do for me?” It sounds harsh, but at the end of the day, this is what your customer asks of you and really wants to know. So answer in ways that show you understand your audience. Leverage the information you have collected from your meetings and form answers that align with what you do best and what they need most: “We understand how busy you are, so we have provided _____ service online so you can access it anytime anywhere, and the bonus is you still get the great service and follow-up.”
How you create value is key; are you REALLY giving them what they need, are you REALLY providing value, are you REALLY meeting or exceeding their expectations so you can make a positive lasting impression that will bring them back? Knowing what your customer values and being able to deliver that value in a way that is unique to you and important to your customer is how you differentiate your products and services from the competition and attract more customers.
Find out what your customers value
Here are some targeted, general questions to ask your clients to get to know them better and understand what they value:
- What is it that keeps you up at night in regards to your business?
- What is the biggest struggle you encounter on a daily basis? What is your biggest obstacle?
- What is the one goal around your business that seems unattainable?
- If you could learn how to do one thing to fix this, what would that be?
- What is the biggest improvement you’d like to make in your situation?
- Would you do anything and pay (relatively) anything to solve/get rid of/achieve/improve/increase something? What result or breakthrough would make you happy?
After gathering this information, summarize who the client is, what they struggle with and what they need to do to change their situation. Doing this exercise with your clients will allow you to walk a mile in their shoes and truly understand what services they require.
Taking the time to REALLY know the customers inspires new options and opportunities that may not have been previously visible, because being so focused on the day-to-day can pull you deep into the weeds and make you lose sight of why you do what you do. So take some slower days as an opportunity to improve relations with customers and provide more value.