Focus and execution are two ingredients for success. Without laser sharp focus, our scarce resources would be spread too thin, resulting in little or no tangible achievement.
Asking powerful, relevant questions is one of the most effective ways to progress either in personal or professional life.
We must discipline ourselves to ask the following six questions to each of our customer or prospects. Once feedback is analysed and appropriate action is taken, I guarantee positive business change.
Growth Framework: Six Questions
In business, it says 90% success is marketing. Marketing starts by defining who our target market is.
Philip Kotler, the Father of Modern Marketing stated, “There is only one winning strategy. It is to carefully define the target market and direct a superior offering to that target market. Our business is not to casually please everyone, but to deeply please our target customers.”
We must clearly define our ideal customer and target market. We cannot be all things to all people. We should focus on the most profitable target markets, which we feel we can serve better than anybody else. This will determine our business success.
Seth Godin, one of the most successful marketer remarked, “Everyone is not our customer.”
Customer buys mainly for two reasons either to gain something or to alleviate the pain of something.
Out of gain and pain, the most powerful motivator which propels customer to take action is alleviating pain.
Suppose a business owner has two choices. One is to prepare a business plan or strategy for next year and the other is to deal with the problem of meeting the sales target to keep paying employees and business alive.
Now assume we are a business consultant who can help a business owner with both choices, i.e. making a business plan as well as meeting the sales quota? Which service would be the easiest to sell? Obviously, meeting a sales quota. Right?
Once we understand the underlying pain our communication with our target customer becomes much more relevant and effective. We now are on the same page.
We need to know…
Customers buy to satisfy their own needs, not ours. The bigger the problems we solve, the better. If we keep focusing on the customer’s problems, then it will open up other opportunities that exist in that particular industry
For example, Smartphone manufacturers gave the traditional camera and camcorder manufacturers a run for their money when they created apps to allow users to take pictures/videos using their Smartphones, that they could then share instantly on social media networks. So with the availability of high pixel smartphones have impacted the sales of a traditional camera.
We might be trying to generate leads in many ways from many lead sources.
So it’s very important, we need to know the lead source of each and every customer so we can evaluate different lead sources. Thereby we would know which lead sources are generating the most leads and which lead sources are converting those leads into customer quicker. This will help us to prioritize our lead sources.
This will give us insight into what marketing method is working and not working, so we can do more of what is working and do less or stop what is not working.
This will also give insights into what other marketing methods we should be exploring.
Competition is good. That keeps us on our toes. Also, we can learn many things from by keeping a tab on our competitors.
We need to know who #1 is in our area of business. Why? Who are our biggest competitors?
What is it that makes us unique from our competitors? What is our business specialty? What is our particular competitive advantage?
What are the reasons why our potential or existing customers switched from our competitor to us?
Similarly, we need to know what are the reasons why our potential or existing customers switched to our competitors? What do they admire or love about our competitors?
Do we know who our direct and indirect competitors are? Knowing this, may bring about other sales channels, e.g., suppose we are a paperback book publisher; consider Amazon’s strategy of selling eBooks as a substitute for the traditional paper book.
Why not consider publishing our books on our website as eBooks and open up a new revenue stream. Therefore, look out for competitor strategies and take them onboard. Our competitors can become our greatest source of inspiration.
Businesses do not often track or measure the real reasons why customer choose them, thereby missing very powerful insight which they could have leveraged in business.
Many times, we have preconceived ideas on why the customer chose us. It is indeed important to get the correct answer because it will reveal the truth, where the rubber meets the road.
It will reveal our Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and our competitive advantage. We should use these findings in our sales and marketing materials.
Losing customer or deal is always a painful experience. We usually try to forget and move on. Instead, each time we lose customer or deal, we should analyse and find out the real reasons.
If we don’t do that then as we know history repeats itself. We would keep continuing to lose customers and deals.
Are we repeating the same mistakes? Is there a losing trend? We can use intelligence gained from our lost deals or lost customers to perform better next time.
Growing business is one of the toughest challenges for any entrepreneur, business owner, sales manager and marketing manager.
I guarantee if you ask following 6 questions regularly and then most importantly if you take massive actions, you would see not just improvement but transformation of your business.
Again here are six questions.1) What is our target market?
I am very interested to hear what are your thoughts? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.