Do you know your customer?
I mean… really know them?
How much time have you spent hanging out with them? Listening to them? Even stalking them online and eavesdropping on their conversations?
Too often, businesses believe they know their perfect buyer when in reality, they only know what they think is their perfect buyer.
It’s much easier to create a product or service with a vague idea of one’s target market than to take the time to get to know that target market’s particular needs, wants, frustrations, desires and more.
A common question marketers and salespeople use is, “What keeps you awake at night?”
Although this is a decent question to ask your prospect, so many other questions reveal their pain points and desires.
For instance, what makes him angry? Frustrated? What does he secretly desire the most?
Imagine you’re at a party and as you’re mingling with the guests, you happen to hear one poor slob griping to someone about his job. You learn his name is Mike.
Mike’s standing right next to the bar, elbow resting on the edge and his hand glued around a tonic and gin. With the other hand, he takes a handkerchief and wipes it quickly across his sweaty forehead. His eyes dart around the room nervously as though scanning for his maniacal boss. He’s not having fun.
“I tell you, Jack. This whole website re-design is driving me nuts. My boss wants to see an ROI for it and I have no idea how to make it create more leads for us. This website crap is way over my head! When I look at the website, I guess it looks okay but it does seem a little outdated with the information. I want to take a vacation next month but now I have no idea if that’s going to happen. I’d be afraid to ask my boss for time off when there’s so much up in the air. I just wish I had a magic wand I could wave over the website and have it just work right and give us what we need…”
And… you just happen to be a website designer.
This is the type of conversation you want to find. They give you a birds eye view of what really concerns your buyer. Now poor “Mike” could be the V.P. of Sales or Marketing. He could be an IT administrator. Or a luckless manager who was tasked with overseeing the redesign of the company website.
Whoever he is, he’s a potential prospect or at least your gateway to the real decision maker.
Join the conversation
Although the above title quickly became overused as marketers everywhere attempted to lure prospects to join social media sites, there is something to be said about getting into the conversation.
“Always enter the conversation already occurring in the customer’s mind.”
– Robert Collier, author of The Robert Collier Letter Book
This is so vitally important when writing copy for your prospective buyer. You don’t want to interrupt him with ideas and thoughts that have nothing to do with the conversation he’s already having with himself inside his head.
Another good question: What will your prospective buyer be thinking about and talking about when he receives or sees your sales copy?
Again, you want to join their conversation. Whatever it is that concerns them, you want to be able to virtually come alongside them and essentially say, “I get it. I understand. You’re overwhelmed. Frustrated. Even a bit fearful. Since you don’t have a magic wand, you’d like to have the next best thing: an easy and simple solution.”
Remember there is a lot going on in your buyer’s world. Market trends he’s wondering about, current news items that potentially affect stock prices, and if he’ll have enough time left at the end of the day to go shopping for new kitchen cabinets with his wife.
You can also use special occasions and holidays to hook a buyer’s concerns into what you have to offer. With summer fast approaching, you can leverage the desire for relaxation within your marketing. Who doesn’t want their business to run seamlessly so they have more time for golf?
A secret for finding conversation starters for your copy
I wish I had come up with this idea, but I didn’t.
One day, I stumbled upon this amazing resource to find out exactly what a prospective buyer is thinking and feeling about a certain product or service.
It was so simple that I couldn’t believe it hadn’t occurred to me to use this free resource.
Yes, you read that right. FREE. A free way to sneak into a room unnoticed by your buyer and observe what really irritated him or thrilled him.
And I bet you’ve already done business with this resource time and time again.
In fact, you’ve likely had the experience of it arriving at your front door.
Do you know now who I’m talking about? That’s right.
The world’s biggest retailer is also the world’s biggest online party of consumers who chat away day and night with each other about what they love or hate about something.
Whatever it is you’re trying to sell, head on over to Amazon and look up a few books or products that have to do with your industry. Then read the reviews.
Goldmine, I’m telling you. It’s a pure goldmine.
Read carefully the language used in those reviews. And then use that language within your copy. Understand what the buyer is trying to communicate and why it’s important to him or her. Then use that in your marketing.
This is the “lazy man’s way to marketing success.” You didn’t have to take any polls or spend an exorbitant amount of money on market research. You just opened up a browser tab and started searching.
It’s a great way to enter the conversation already going on in the mind of your buyer.
The reason I emphasize this so much is that most businesses overlook it. They’re so focused on creating the best widget on the market that they often forget to find out if anyone actually needs their widget.
Listen to your buyers first. Then tweak your product or service accordingly. When the time comes to market, you’ll have a better handle on how to position your offering. It will make all the difference in the world.