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Management / Business Management

Do you know your customers?

May 26, 2012
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I would like to pose a question to you, one I hope you take the time to answer.

This is not a simple "YES" or "NO" question.

It''s actually more profound than you think and once you truly understand the question, your business as you know it will dramatically change...for the better.

Here it is...

Do you know your customers?

I bet you don’t. I’m not trying to insult you. I’m trying to help you. I want you think about those customers of yours.

You see, statistically, 99% of most small and medium sized companies do not know their customers. Oh, they might know their customer’s name and address, but beyond that, they have no insights.

Some marketing companies advise their clients to market their services to the gated communities, saying things like, “you can’t lose” or “it’s a sure bet”. I counter with, just because they live in a gated community doesn’t mean anything.

If you don’t understand who your customers are, it doesn’t matter where they live. Your marketing will be ineffective.

What about using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to build your list? Social media has made it very easy to capture followers, but it still doesn’t answer the underlying question…

Do you know your customers?

You might know where they live, and how to get a hold of them, but beyond that, what else do you know?

Do they smoke? Do they have pets? Are they politically minded? Are they religious? Do they have kids? Do they belong to a social club? Are they involved in scouting?

With every question answered you can start to get a picture of who your customers are, what makes them tick, what drives them, and why they became your customer. The more details you have, the better you can relate to your customers.

If Mrs. Jones has two dogs and a cat, plays tennis and helps out at a local food bank, you now have a better picture of who she is, what she stands for… and that makes for an excellent conversation starter.

The more your customers feel at ease with you, your products or services, the more apt they will be to spend money and refer you to their friends.

Word of caution: Be careful with the information you obtain. Just because the customer may feel at ease telling you things about them, they don’t necessarily want others to know… loose lips sink ships.
The more information you have regarding a client, the better you are at creating marketing geared just for them.

Now, if you are just starting out, or maybe you’ve been in the game without knowing the rules and as such haven’t really built up a client base, knowing your customers are may be a little tough at first. So here’s the trick…

Design your own customers! If you really want to know what your customers are, then you need to create them first. This may sound farfetched, but info-marketers do it all the time. They craft data lists based on a certain profile they are looking to attract. The more detail oriented the list is, the better success rate the marketing piece will have.

The “big time” marketing gurus like to point out that we, the typical entrepreneur, are not our customer. Yet, ironically, most entrepreneurs tend to gravitate towards people who share their own interests. So in essence, we look for people that are just like us. So if you honestly want to know who your customers are, just look at yourself first. You hold the key… now turn it!

Rob Anspach has been in the cleaning industry for 19 years. He is an IICRC Master Textile Cleaner and the owner/operator of Premiere Carpet Cleaners in Lancaster County, PA. Rob is also a savvy marketer! He teaches entrepreneurs how to maximize their online & offline marketing experience, how to attract & retain affluent clients and how to profit from their passions. For more information, go to www.RobAnspach.com

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