When you read advice about “getting to know your client,” what crosses your mind? Are you confident that you know your target persona, or are you unsure of what a potential customer might look like?
Most companies have a rough idea of what their audience is like. They know basic information such as the average ages, genders and interests of their customers. But you can always go deeper. The more you know about your clients, the easier it is to create helpful content that aligns with their journey.
Tips for Getting Acquainted with Potential Customers
Today’s buyers enjoy having control, abundant choices and a bigger hand in the decision-making process. They like to do their own research and find information that is valuable and meaningful to their journey. When they see that they can count on a particular company time and time again, they learn to trust that brand and the products and services they have to offer.
Fortunately, there are many crazy-effective ways to get to know your potential customers. All it takes is a little determination. Below are a few ideas to get you started.
Ask Questions. When you want to learn more about your customers, start by asking questions. They can be general questions (“What do you like to do on the weekends?”) or specific ones (“Would you choose the red or blue sweater?”).
Conduct Surveys. Surveys are a great way to gather feedback on your product or service. You can use a third-party tool to conduct a survey and track the responses to learn more about what customers are thinking.
Host an Event. By hosting an event, you can see what types of people come out. This will give you an idea of what a potential customer might look like. Talk to your guests and find out what they like and dislike about your product.
Do Keyword Research. Use Google’s keyword planner tool to get a better understanding of the types of keywords that your audience is searching for. This will tell you what types of products people are looking to buy and why.
Listen on Social Media. Social channels are an excellent way to monitor the conversation that’s happening in your community. What are people saying about your product? What pain points are shoppers experiencing? What might they like to see that’s different?
Create a Customer Profile. A customer profile is a helpful tool that allows you to better recognize the needs of your clients. Included in the profile should be likes, dislikes, family background and other important characteristics.
Study Your Competitors. A final way to discover more about your customers is by studying your competition. What are their customers saying? Is there a way that you can fill in the gaps and offer something that your competitors are lacking?
What Things Should You Know About Your Clients?
While this is by no means a complete list, we do feel that the below characteristics are some of the most important aspects to learn about your customers.
Birthdays and anniversaries
Hobbies, interests and activities
Associations and organizations
Financial and personal goals
Sources of income
Why they came to you
Understanding the Buyer Journey
When you feel confident about what a potential client looks like for your company, you can move on to creating compelling content that aligns with the buyer journey.
What is the buyer journey, you ask? The buyer’s journey is the process that customers go through as they become aware of a product and pursue buying it.
There is a three-step process that occurs during the buyer’s journey. The first stage is the awareness stage, which is when buyers realize that they have a problem they need to solve. The consideration stage happens when the buyer defines the problem they are having and the types of options available to fix it. The last stage, the decision stage, is when a particular solution is chosen.
Let’s take a closer look at what each stage of the process means for a buyer and the types of questions they might have at each one.
Getting to know your clients will help you tremendously with this stage. Some of things to think about include what types of challenges buyers are having, where they turn to to educate themselves and if there are misconceptions about the problem.
Your goal is to create content that addresses these types of concerns so that people who might benefit from your product or service can find your content and become aware of your company.
Once you have their attention, it’s time to encourage buyers to consider your brand. What makes your product or service different? How can it help solve their problems?
The most important detail in this stage is to clearly demonstrate how your product is going to make a difference for buyers. If they have a specific problem and are researching solutions for it, you need to be in a position to address that problem. You can’t make up new problems and try to fix them, and you can’t offer a secondary solution. You need to be THE solution.
The final stage is when buyers decide on a solution. Maybe (hopefully!) they will choose your offer, but they may not. If that’s the case, you can always follow up with them and ask why. Was your product too expensive? Was it lacking a necessary feature?
To be effective in this stage, you must keep an open mind and also be aware of the competition around you. You can’t be competitive unless you know what you’re up against. When you get feedback from buyers, make sure you are using it. How can you make your product better? More streamlined? More accessible?
Getting to know a potential client is a work in progress. Your clients will change, and your products and services may too, so it’s important to always ask meaningful questions. When determining the best feedback to collect, consider the buyer journey and the type of thinking that a potential customer might have. This way, you can address their needs and nudge them closer to being a valued customer.