Once again, I am writing to you from the Bahamas! Yaaaay………. still one of my favorite places in the whole world! Here I am at the local eatery that is my first stop when I leave the airport! I order a “crack conch” (fresh conch battered and fried) and wash it down with a cold Kalik beer (local beer). Only then do I feel like I am really here!
The great news is that even as I enjoy my favorite foods in the Bahamas, I can still manage my online business . All it takes is a reliable computer (or an iPad or Smart phone in some cases) and internet access!
This weeks’ feature article “Sell What They Want But Give What They Need” explores the idea of taking your queues from your target market (excuse me while I take another bite of my “sheep tongue souse” – yes the same sweet little sheep ala Little Bo Beep….. which is my breakfast of choice while I am on the island).
FEATURE ARTICLE – SELL WHAT THEY WANT BUT GIVE WHAT THEY NEED!
A very rich man once said “sell them what they want but give them what they need“. And, like most of you, when I first heard it, I was confused and did not get it. However, after many missteps and wasted time and resources, I am so glad that I finally got it!
So what exactly does it all mean you ask. Think about it. Most people who start a business, do so without ever finding out what their target market wants but operates from the perspective of what they think their target market needs.
The difference is, knowing what someone needs might help you identify a product or service for your market but, not knowing what they want can make all the difference in how successfully you deliver it. E.g., if you are are opening a clothing store, it is a given that you already know people need clothes. However, if you are targeting professional women in their 30s and 40s, you must offer then specific types of clothes to satisfy what they want: which brands, which styles, which price range etc. No point in stocking your store with “daisy dukes” and cowboy boots. Instead, you should stock your store with business suits and leather pumps!. Get my drift?
Just in case you still don’t get it, let’s take a look an an online business owner selling information about losing weight. So you have the right information available at your webiste since that is what you have determined your target market needs. But, as a prospective customer who is busy busy busy, when I visit your site, unless I can see immediately from your content and packaging first, what the benefits of your program are, second, everything that is included in the program and thirdly, be convinced it is easy to follow or use, you are not giving me what I want: an easy to follow plan that includes recipes which takes only a few minutes of my time every day. Get it now?
Now that you get it, how do you leverage technology to capitalize on it? One easy way is to ASK your prospect/customer. Once you have started building your list (off course you are doing that, right?) you can email surveys or polls or, somewhere on your site, provide an opportunity to collect the information that will help you learn what they want.
There are many ways to do this and these are 3 tools that I have personally used or reviewed, and recommend:
- Survey Monkey (a free online survey tool)
- 1ShoppingCart (an commerce tool that allows you to set up survey forms etc)
- Aweber (similar to 1SC at item 2)
Use specific (out of these, which is your fav) or open ended (what is your most important challenge with ______) questions to get the best responses and take your queues from them. Since you can do this many times over, this will provide you a constant source of information to help you to continue to provide what prospective or repeat customers need while giving them what they want.
To your online success!