How well do you know your customer? I know mine very well. What about you? When I say how well do you know your customer, I mean theoretically.
I’m back to talking about a customer avatar or their personas. I talked about this back in podcast number five (just click that link and you can go back and listen to it.) Avatars and personas are very important in our process. In fact, it is one of the first steps on our process to marketing.
It’s where you decide who your possible customers are, and are they worth talking to. These people could possibly become your customers. And, you can’t guess if you don’t know who they are.
So — let’s start with my customer, Mike. Mike runs a printing business. He has three employees. He has a lovely wife and two adorable kids. Now, Mike has been in business for five years. His business is located only 15 minutes from where he lives, so he has a really short commute to work.
Most of his customers are local, but he does have a few that live out of state. His customers love him and his retention rate with them are very good. He doesn’t really need to go out and get new customers, because they are loyal to Mike and his business.
However, in recent times, some of Mike’s customers have been coming to him saying, “I can get this item quicker from Solopress. I can get it cheaper from Vistaprint.” Or — even worse, his customers start telling him, “I can do this myself.”
Now — Mike is proud. He has done well for his family, however this news worries him. At the end of the day, he goes home and is concerned, but — he does not want to worry his wife and kids with business woes, but Mike is worried. The worry is probably adding a few more gray hairs to his head.
The one thing that worries him more than anything is the annual holiday trip his family takes. Every year they take a holiday together to the beach. But possibly not this year.
This year, because business has been going down, he is afraid he can’t afford it. Now, Mike knows he can’t talk to his wife about it because not only does he not want to worry her, but she is not a business person. She works in the nursing field and would not understand the business stuff, even though she would listen and try to understand. She just cannot empathize with him.
He doesn’t know other business people. His friends down at the pub have regular 9-5 jobs and they can sympathize with him. They look at Mike and see his business, and new cars every three years and think he has it all together and that Mike is doing very well for himself.
However, Mike has pride. He can’t tell them that he is worried and that things are bad and he probably earns less than them. What can he do? So, he bottles it up, and it keeps him awake at night. He does not sleep well.
Mike wants to do something about it, so when he’s at home, instead of watching TV and relaxing, he is busy doing paperwork, finishing quotes, and invoicing clients.
He can’t really can concentrate, so, he occasionally surfs the internet and he comes across a website offering the promise of “I can make you more money”, and “Look at this. I made $15,000 in 10 minutes just by using this one tactic.” He sees these things. He knows they are not true. But, he is on the right track.
So — that’s my man Mike. Who is yours?
So, weekend challenge. Get out your pen and your pad and your piece of paper and write out on one page your customer, your ideal customer. You need to decide what the name is. You can find a picture.
I know what Mike looks like. I talk to Mike all the time. I talk to Mike in every single email. I’m talking to Mike now, “Hi, Mike.” I talk to just that one perfect customer because I know how to solve Mike’s problems.
Write down everything you know about that customer. Yes, you have to make this up. Yes, you may have to brainstorm with a colleague. If your ideal customers are ladies and you’re a man, you probably need to get inside the mind of a woman to understand, say perhaps ask your spouse, or ask others at work.
Get this right. But, write down a full story — the town where they come from, how far do they drive to work, what car do they drive, what do they think about on the commute, what are the problems they think about when they are stuck in traffic, what’s going through their mind, what TV do they watch, who are their friends, are they in clubs, do they have a hobby?
Get in to their mind. Make up a real person. Then, write down their problems and what is keeping them awake at night. Then, write down what can you do to help, how can you help. Speak specifically to that person. Decide how you can help them. And then, you’re on the course to targeting your perfect customer. Have a great weekend.