Know your customer. As a business that actually cares about your customer, you need to spend time doing what most businesses fail to do; Listen to your customer. What are their desires, needs, likes, dislikes, spending habits, etc? Where do they like to shop and why do they choose to shop there?
If you don’t take time to listen to them, chances are they won’t take time to listen to you. Your product by itself won’t make your business successful.
A hundred years ago, if you owned the only hardware store in town, you probably would have been extremely successful. You could have been the rudest, grumpiest, greediest store owner in town, but if your store was the only place within fifty miles to buy a hammer or saw, that’s where everyone would shop.
In today’s market, however, you face tremendous competition. Customers are no longer just shopping for a product or service; they are shopping for a total experience.
In her book, The Renegade Network Marketer, Ann Sieg states, “It’s not about the product. It’s about how you communicate the idea of the product. …A marketing-centered business is an entirely different kind of operation than a product-centered business. The ability to sell, and more importantly, understand how and why people do what they do, is by far the most potent moneymaking skill you can ever acquire. It’s the beginning and end of all business success.”
One of the most efficient ways to learn about your customer is through what is called Social Marketing. Social marketing is exactly what the name implies, and is not only effective, it’s also fun. Social marketing can be used through websites such as www.facebook.com, www.myspace.com, and www.youtube.com, just to name a few. Each of these sites gives you a chance to communicate one-on-one with literally thousands of people who you would otherwise not have the opportunity to communicate with.
Mike Klingler, founder of the Renegade University, offers a great advice on how to effectively use Social Marketing to take your business to levels you didn’t even know existed. Go to www.marketingmerge.com.
The Professional side of Renegade University also offers step-by-step tutorials on how to take advantage of Social Marketing, and by the way, you can test out the Professional side for $1 for the first 7 days! I guarantee, you will not regret it.
Stay tuned! In a future post, I will talk about two other great methods for listening to your customers, learning their needs, and refining your business to better serve your customers. Bookmark this page, and look for posts on “Customer Surveys” and “Web Forms”, coming soon.