List Building: Have You Created A Customer Profile?
By: Karen Pattock
How can you give your clients what they need if you’ve never created a customer profile?
It’s a great question isn’t it? Truth is, many business owners assume they know what their clients need and then create products and services around that assumption. But how can you be sure you’re moving in the right direction with new products when you’ve never asked any questions?
I’ve seen it time and time again with my clients. They come to me excited about a new product that they’re planning to create but when I ask them how they know this product is in demand they look at me with a confused look on their face. It’s in that moment that they realize the product they plan to create is coming from a place of what they think their clients need, not what they KNOW they need.
When you build a product or a service before you create a customer profile, don’t be surprised when your sales aren’t what you expected them to be. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have ideas and plans to grow your business, but before you get into the development phase do a little research first.
There are three phases to build an ideal customer profile.
Phase 1: Know your ideal client.
Here are some examples of questions you should ask yourself: Who is your ideal client? What age group are they in? What is their income level? What are they passionate about? What’s the size of their family? What phase of their life are they in? What are their hobbies? What are their eating habits?
There are many more questions you can research. By the time you are finished with this process you will know your ideal client as well as you know yourself.
Phase 2: Can you voice their specific needs and fears?
As you complete phase one of the three-phase process you will have a clear understanding of what troubles and fears your ideal client is dealing with. You should be able to get inside their head and actually hear their voice speaking to you.
It’s not enough to develop a product because it is something you think they should want. It has to actually be something they’ve asked for through questions they’ve asked or statements they’ve made.
A great place to collect this information is through your Facebook business page. As your audience increases ask them questions. Not general questions like, “What keeps you up at night?” Ask more specific questions. For example, if you’re thinking about creating a product and want to know if anyone is interested, post a specific question about that product on your Facebook page. It’s a great place to get feedback. If necessary, tweak your product then post another question till you get it just right.
One other great resource that I’ve used many times is SurveyMonkey.com. Their service is really easy to use, free and can be integrated on your Facebook page. Draft three relevant questions related to your research and post on your Facebook page. People are always happy to give you their opinion.
Phase 3: Getting real – Do you have what they need?
The results of your fact-finding mission can be sobering. You can find out that you are on the right track. You receive confirmation that you know exactly who your audience is and what they need. On the other hand, you may find out that you were off the mark and you’ll need to adjust your plan of action.
Don’t feel bad if it is the latter. It happens to all of us. The more you listen and pay attention to your audience the closer to the bulls-eye you’ll be. Just be happy that you did the research and have a clearer picture before you took the time to create your new product or service.
I can’t stress enough what an amazing tool your Facebook page is for getting to know your followers more deeply. I’m always saying it’s a great place to build relationship, and it is, but I’m thinking you just realized that it could be used for more than just social activity. Posting regularly, asking questions and giving your audience what they want are the best ways to build relationship.
There are too many business owners that create products and services because it is what they want not what their audience has asked for. They do this because they haven’t done the research and in many cases only care about making a sale.
As leaders, we have to raise the bar by giving top-quality products that are designed specifically for the needs of our audience. Starting with a complete customer profile will be what sets you apart from others in your industry. My friend, we’re in a business that requires passion and compassion. Do your research with an open mind and the passion necessary to know your audience inside and out. Then lead your product and service development with compassion, focusing on providing exactly what your clients need.
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With love and support,