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Survey Says…

Why you should interview your best clients.

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With everything happening in the current business climate, the fundamentals of marketing have never been more critical. You will struggle to see consistent, repeatable results with your marketing if you skip the fundamentals.

What are the marketing fundamentals? I call them the “marketing strategy trilogy.” They are:

  1. Your Target Market. Knowing who you are trying to reach provides direction and focus.
  2. Your Messaging. Great messaging creates clarity and engages people. It makes your company memorable and magnetic.
  3. Your Plan/System. A plan keeps you from getting distracted and provides a framework, so you know when and what you need to execute.

In this article, I want to focus on an invaluable tool to help you understand your target market: customer interviews.

Many of us struggle to clearly communicate our position and message in the market because we can’t see the forest through the trees. It often takes outside eyes from others to help us see things more clearly.

Also by Tim Fitzpatrick: How to Market In a Down Economy

It is amazing how often your clients will be able to articulate the best positioning for your company, even if you can’t. I’d recommend you speak with five to eight of your ideal clients. Ideal clients tend to be enjoyable to work with, the most profitable, and refer business to you.

Ask them the following questions and you’ll be amazed at the insight you pick up from the conversations. You’ll gain a better understanding of your ideal clients, and you’ll be armed with the information you need to create messaging to attract more of the same types of customers.

  1. Why did you choose to work with us in the first place? This question will give you great insight into what’s important to your ideal clients. What factors do they value in those they work with?
  2. Do you refer us? If yes, why? If no, why not? How referable is your business? Knowing why clients refer you will allow you to double down on the elements that get even more referrals.
  3. Why do you continue to work with us? This question helps you understand what you do well to keep clients. There can be significant differentiating factors in this information to help you communicate how you are different from the competition.
  4. What could we (or our products/services) do for you that we don’t now? Where are you falling short? Wouldn’t you like to know so you can make improvements? This question will pinpoint where the opportunities are.
  5. What do we do that others don’t? How are you different from your competitors? You’ll know exactly how you are different so you can better position your company against competitors.
  6. What phrase(s) would you use to search for our products/services/solutions? This question helps you understand how clients start their search to find businesses like yours.
  7. What problems have we helped you solve? When you understand the exact problems you solve, it’s much easier to attract people looking to solve those same problems.
  8. What negative consequences have you avoided or eliminated by working with us? We are all motivated to avoid pain/failure. Having visibility to this information, you can highlight the pain or failure elements you help clients avoid.
  9. What are the most significant benefits you’ve experienced in working with us? We are also motivated to gain pleasure. Highlighting the pleasure clients can experience when working with you will encourage them to hire you.

The only thing you’ll lose by interviewing clients is your time. I guarantee the information you gain will far outweigh the time investment. With this information, you can work on creating messaging that will attract more of your ideal clients. You will have the information you need to create messaging that clearly communicates:

  • The problems you solve.
  • The consequences you help clients avoid.
  • The benefits clients will experience in working with you.
  • How you are different.

Don’t wait. Take advantage of this simple tool now so you can start attracting and engaging clients like never before.

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