What if, for free, you could change the trajectory of your sales?? Super charge it. Get your company on the track you know is possible buuuuuut you just haven’t got it there yet. What would happen to your lifestyle, your bank account, your stress level??
Does this sound like the “song and dance” you’d expect from the guy at the left??
I’ve been a small business marketing consultant for 30+ years. By doing what I’m about to teach you I’ve doubled sales for clients. I’ve generated more new customers in 60 days than they did the previous six years. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a client to pause the marketing campaigns I create to dig out of the new customer hole we put them in.
Nice problem to have, isn’t it? Like Chris and Roger, owners of a construction company. They came to me in 1999 after building their company nicely, but wanting to take the next step. They took a chance paying my fee — they hadn’t spent a dime on marketing, ever.
Using the technique I’m about to teach you we doubled their sales the first year. Doubled it the next year. And the next. They chose to level off and focus on profitability several years back. We’re still working together, by the way.
Like Tom, a software developer. He’s the more-new-customers-in-60-days-than-the-past-six-years guy. Or like Jonathan, who after a year promoting his new business without success landed the biggest customer of his career by using this technique.
Are you ready for the secret? Sitting down?? Here it is: Ask your customers. They will tell you what you need to know if you ask them the right way.
I’ve proven this true time after time after time. Yes, it sounds simple. Maybe too simple to work as powerfully and quickly as it’s worked for me. Actually, here’s another little secret, it’s not as simple as it sounds. But it can happen. And it does happen. All the time. With the clients I work with, and hundreds of times every month with companies that have never heard of me.
But unless you talk to your customers first, the chances of getting it right and seeing some truly spectacular results. . .well. . .they fall off a cliff.
Pick the brains of the people you want to attract before you invest time and money to attract them. That’s obvious, right? It’s why-the-hell-haven’t-we-done-this obvious. Yet, almost zero small business owners do it. Which is what makes “Ask your customers” the best marketing advice maybe ever.
Before I tell you exactly how to ask the questions and what questions to ask, know that I’m talking about 3-5 conversations, in depth conversations for sure, but literally just 3-5 good ones. Ask the right questions and shut up long enough to get them really talking; this is the key. Sometimes they blurt out exactly what you should do and sometimes they’ll say something that hits you square in the eyes. Sometimes you aren’t that lucky. But these conversations always, always give you clues to how to start talking to customers about what you sell is a way that is important to them, and in a way they will find, or that finds them.
Talk to customers who have decided to use you; new customers. Don’t talk to “people who really know us” because that’s just code for people who are going to gush all over you. What kind of new customers do you want more of? That’s who you want to talk to. As long as they are relatively new (so they remember the process of finding you).
Ask open-ended questions. Questions like:
What’s going on in your world right now?
What projects are you working on — things you’re trying to accomplish — to improve your business?
Nothing so far relates to what you sell. It doesn’t have to. You want to understand more about what frame of mind your customers are in. Most of what you’ll hear to this point is not critical. But, sometimes it is, and it does get them warmed up for the important stuff:
Do you remember what happened that made you decide to look for a company like ours? (can substitute product or service for company if that makes more sense for you).
Describe the process you went through to find companies like us.
Why did you end up selecting us?
If you wanted to find another company like mine to work with now, how would you look for that company?
What would you be looking for? Describe the attributes of the company you’d be looking for.
Ask follow up questions. Don’t accept general answers. Questions like What do you mean by ___________? and Can you give me an example? are great ways to understand what they mean by “good service”, “quality” and “your ___________ is just easier to use”.
Recording the conversations, with their prior permission (they always say yes), is important so you can go back and listen to what they say again.
So, what should you say differently on your website (and every other place you talk to your customers and prospects) as a result of what you learned?
How did they expect to find a company like yours? Are you “there?” Are you where they are looking?
So, now, you implement what you learned.
There it is, in my humble opinion the best marketing advice for a small business owner; maybe ever. Free, as advertised.
More free advice: my free ebook.
Should we work together? I don’t know. Let’s have a conversation and find out.