What do customers really want?
I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that your customers don’t really care about the latest whiz-bang feature of your new whatchamathingy. I’m also willing to bet they don’t really care that much about how big you are, how small you are, how nice your office is, what your vision or mission might be or how awesome your last ad campaign was. Over the course of doing many surveys and focus groups with executives and physicians, one thing has been absolutely consistent. Customers want you to solve their problems.
This could mean reducing costs or hassles (which usually incur added costs) or increasing revenue. But promising these broad concepts isn’t good enough. You need to understand your prospect’s and customer’s problems on a case-by-case basis. And you need to be up front about whether you can truly solve these problems.
For some of you, this might seem painfully obvious. However, take a look at all of your outward facing marketing and sales materials. Do they specifically state the types of problems you solve? Can your sales people articulate the types of problems typically faced by customers and align them with solutions?
For example, FedX solves the problem of getting packages to their destination when they “absolutely, positively have to be there overnight”. If your problem involves delivering a package within 24 hours, it is pretty clear that FedX is in the business of solving this specific problem.
Another way to look at this equation is to think of it in terms of pain. For example, when I am talking to a prospect I may explain my capabilities in terms of the types of pain the prospect might be feeling. For example:
I work with CEOs that are:
– concerned about a lack of new opportunities coming through the door.
– frustrated by spending on marketing programs that don’t seem to impact revenue goals
– angry that their sales and marketing teams are at odds resulting in missed opportunities
My point here is to deliver your message in emotional language the prospect can understand and to which he or she can relate on a personal level. A list of features just isn’t effective in created the gut-feel buying impulse that causes the buyer to choose your offerings over your competitors.
Whether you are selling electronic boxes or accounting services, at the end of the day your customer buys for his or her own reasons. Rarely do they buy based on logic. How can you tap the emotion of the buyer and clearly communicate how you can improve his or her condition?