Some of us hate doing it, others find it absolutely crucial.
Researching your customer can make an absolute difference to your sales and most importantly, your bottom line.
What I mean by research is simply learning and finding out more about your customer, before you actually meet them.
Before you actually meet them as in, "How should I be prepared when faced with this certain customer?" We all have different things we sell and do.
In each market, there are different customers and people purchasing a particular product or service.
Sadly, there is no "one size fits all" solution.
Since all our customers are different in what they want, what they do, and what they have, we must provide solutions that best fit their specific needs and wants.
If we can do that, we can sell them what we have much more effectively and then go on to do repeat business.
This means doing the proper research ahead of time to figure out our ideal customer, and then being prepared when the situation presents itself.
We all have cases at some point in time where we think we know our customer.
We never do - there are going to be times when they totally surprise you.
And there will definitely be times where stubbornness on your part loses you a sale.
Researching your customer and being prepared really isn't a hard thing to do.
It takes a little bit of time but I guarantee if you know your customer going into every interaction, you're going to make a lot more money in the long term.
All it requires is you asking the right questions and getting them answered.
Here's a few to get you started: Who are they? The first step in finding out more about your customer is getting detail information as to who they are.
Are they young, old, make a certain amount of money, do this, do that, have kids, are single, in a relationship, are married, and the list goes on.
This is very important because it all comes down to targeting the right people and matching them to your products or services.
For example, if you know a thing or two about business online, it's that you must have traffic in order to sustain and grow your business.
And there is a big difference between good traffic and bad traffic.
You can have a million people hit your website but if none of them are targeted (interested), it doesn't matter because they won't buy.
However, when you have targeted website traffic (people that have an interest in what you are providing), you will get many more sales.
This same methodology applies to knowing who your customer is.
It's like selling a car to a man who doesn't know how to drive or a credit card monitoring and protection service to a lady who has never had a credit card.
It just doesn't make sense! So know who your customer is.
There are many things you can find out about them and the more you learn and understand, the better prepared you will be.
What is their problem? This could also be stated as "What are they struggling with?" but it's pretty much the same thing.
All of us have issues or problems with something.
It could be not having enough time to relax, not making enough money, not having the best relationship, or even feeling like we don't look the way we would like.
No matter what, we will always have some sort of problem.
That's why there are those of us who provide solutions and those who come to us for their problem to be solved.
It's important for us to provide proper and effective solutions that really help with our typical customers' issues.
Maybe your product or service helps solve one of them or many of them.
Maybe you have multiple products or services which alleviate quite a few different problems.
The key is, if you can solve a problem that many people face and do it in a way that is 1) valuable to them 2) gets them excited and happy and 3) makes them come back again and again, you've successfully fixed their problem.
Not all problems can be fully solved but a proper solution can make a ton of difference.
And when you know exactly what problem and issues people are facing, you can position your product or service as the premier solution.
There's an interesting psychological aspect to this as well.
Back in the days of cavemen and women, we were in a constant need to survive.
Because of a natural survival instinct, it required that when a survival solution so good presented itself, while exposing our core problem, we had to take it.
This same survival instinct is inside us today.
By understanding this we realize how very important it is that we truly know our customers' main problems.
Being prepared and doing the proper research will allow us to make the sale much more effectively.
What is their core desire? There are things we need and then things that we desire.
Targeting desire is what leads to action.
If your customer is not taking action by purchasing your product or service, you waste all your hard work and effort and end up frustrated.
Finding the answer to this question means asking the first two questions and then digging just a little bit deeper.
Ok, so you found out their problem was say, "I'm not making enough money", an extremely common problem for a lot of people.
You're selling an online course that teaches how to make more money and do it all on the internet.
That's a good start but not good enough.
The majority of people who want to make money don't do so just to pile up stacks of money.
They have these common desires: freedom to do what they want when they want, more time to relax, spend more time with their family, have the ability to purchase what they want, and a heck of a lot more.
The lesson here is you are always going to have a better chance of making a sale when you target your customer's desire, what they truly want, not just what they "think" they want.
Making money is just a byproduct of their main desires.
What they truly want are all these other things.
So let's recap...
Research is very important and being prepared will allow you make a lot more sales.
Three questions you must always ask before you provide a solution, your product or service, are: Who are they? What is their problem? What is their desire? After you have successfully answered these, it's you are ready to focus on the next steps in the sales process such as how to provide your solution to them in the best way possible based on what you learned and in a way that will clearly get them to understand the benefits from doing business with you.