5 Sure-fire Ways to Uncover What’s Inside Your Customer’s Heart

Uncover Your Customer's Felt NeedI briefly touched on this vital marketing step in a previous post, but it’s worth repeating — because if you make a mistake here, well, nothing else matters. Plus, this is the question Main Street business owners ask me most often.

So let’s jump right in … here are five surefire techniques for uncovering the emotions that fuel your customer’s desire to buy from you:

1.) First up — and my all-time favorite technique — is to visit Internet forums in which your customers congregate. The anonymous nature of Internet forums allows you to get a truly unbiased opinion and uncover which benefits are most important to your prospect. You’ll also learn the “language” of your customer, and the emotions that reside within her heart. What’s more, once you assimilate the language of your customer, your ads will brim with authenticity.

2.) Next up, poll prospective customers, individually, and ask them questions such as: “If you were forced to choose between Benefit A and Benefit B, which would you choose?” Your goal here is to determine which benefit your prospect finds most appealing. Naturally, this will become your primary benefit of your marketing campaign … the benefit that you’ll want to lead with.

3.) Now it’s time to tap into the knowledge of your front line employees. Ask them to pinpoint which benefits are most important to your customer. I’d even go so far as to sit in on handful of sales calls. But remember … stay quiet. Just take notes and listen for clues.

4.) Visit Google’s free Keyword tool (https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal) and enter keywords related to your market (products, services, perceived benefits, etc.) Google will spit out a report listing related keywords and phrases. What’s more, Google will give you the approximate number of monthly searches — or popularity — for each keyword or phrase listed.

5.) Maybe you already know this, but Google Alerts is another crafty way to keep research your customer’s felt need. This free service allows you to monitor multiple keywords that are relevant to your market. Google will then scour the Internet and email you when any of these words have been mentioned. You’ll also receive a link to the article or website where the keyword was mentioned.

These are some of the very methods that Michele and I use when Main Street business owners hire us to craft a marketing message and grow their business. Make no mistake, any one of these techniques will help you determine the felt need of your customer. And although some may seem obvious, take satisfaction that 99% of Main Street business owners NEVER go this far to uncover the customer’s felt need.

As always, if YOU have a marketing question you’d like answered, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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5 Responses to “5 Sure-fire Ways to Uncover What’s Inside Your Customer’s Heart”

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  1. Hopko says:

    Great post, Tom.

    Regarding #2… Yay or nay to a web survey? I know it’s much less personal, but I am not a brick and mortar business. I do not have regular recurring contact with my customers. I see them once a year if I’m lucky. Typically once every 2 to 3 years.

    And if not a web survey, phone call or one-to-one email? I do have preferred method of contact in the database for all my customers. Thanks.

  2. Jill Tooley says:

    Great suggestions, Tom. I also use services called Twilert and Pin Alerts, which have been extremely helpful for determining customer needs! Twilert notifies me when someone uses specific keywords and phrases in their tweets, and Pin Alerts sends me an email when someone pins an image from our website. These services allow me to reach out to customers and respond to questions they may have about our products.

    Your #3 tip has worked out well for us, too. Our sales team is much more knowledgeable about customer wants because they interact with buyers on a daily basis. It’s a good balance! :)

  3. Tom Wanek says:

    Yay, on the web survey, Hopko. It may be less personal, but you’ll still get plenty of helpful insights. I use them for a client of mine that’s also not a brick and mortar, and I see some pretty eye-opening stuff.

    Calling past clients would also be good for you to do, especially if you’re experiencing a major shift in business or customer behavior.

  4. Tom Wanek says:

    Thanks for the suggestions, Jill! Great stuff.

  5. Tom Wanek says:

    Oh — and on a somewhat related note, Hopko, I had a colleague rave about this service: http://www.usertesting.com/

    Might not help you uncover your customer’s felt need, but it can help you pinpoint problems with your website.

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