Merrily Orsini's Thought Leadership

Let Me Introduce Myself. I’m…the Customer.

Have you ever tried to sell a freezer to an Eskimo? What about life insurance to a five-year-old? Roast beef to a vegetarian? An umbrella to a friend living in the Sahara? Flea spray to a woman with no pets? A parachute to the captain of a deep sea fishing vessel?

To successfully negotiate these sales would be a nearly impossible effort. Why? In each situation, the merchant is trying to sell something the prospective buyer doesn’t want or need. Understand who your customers are and what it takes to satisfy them. To have any success selling your goods or plowing your trade, find out what makes your customers tick. Get to know your customers in four easy steps:

STEP ONE: Meet the Customer

Anyone selling anything has a “natural” customer base. There’s a certain group of people who are much more likely to purchase your wares or services than others. There are several ways of identifying your unique customer base. Written surveys and focus groups can help in that regard, but essentially, you can begin narrowing down the options by asking the following questions:

· Are my customers within a certain age range?

· Are they typically married or single? Both? Do they have children?

· Where do they live? Do they reside in rural or urban areas?

· Are they employed in the business world or do they work at home?

· What is their economic background? Do they have a lot of disposable income?

STEP TWO: Discover the Demand

Everyone has wants and needs. The concept of supply and demand is the foundation of successful business. But not everyone has the same needs. Before you can attempt to meet demand, you have to discover what the unique demands of your customers are. Again, ask yourself a few general questions:

· What are the tools they need to do their jobs every day?

· What are their hobbies?

· What do they need to enjoy those hobbies?

· How do they like to spend money?

· How do they spend their time?

STEP THREE: Market Accordingly

In order to sell products or services you have to market—but make sure you’re marketing to the right people.

STEP FOUR: Provide What Your Customers are Looking For

Many companies skip over the first three steps to get to this step—where the sale takes place and the money is made. But it can also be the step at which the merchant realizes that no one wants to buy his products. Without going through steps one through three, you may find yourself advertising catnip to apartment dwellers who aren’t allowed to have pets.

Don’t be afraid of your customers. Get to know them. Talk to them when they show up in your front lobby or in the middle of your grocery aisle or on your website. It can be the beginning of a marvelous relationship.

For information on how corecubed can help you gain a greater understanding of your customers and show you how to market to them, visit us online at www.corecubed.com, or email us at info@corecubed.com.