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Think Like a Customer

The New Year is now well and truly upon us. As the holiday period ends, many of us are returning to our businesses wondering how to increase sales? You’re not alone. Attracting customers is a basic challenge for all businesses. If you’re hoping to generate new business or service new clients you need to stop thinking like a salesperson or business owner and start thinking like a customer.

We all know how to think like a customer because at some point we are all customers. If only it were that simple, right? Well, there are some initial foundations you can put in place to start thinking like a customer. What were the feelings and emotions you felt when being a customer? What impressed you and how did you come to the decision to buy that product or service? What annoyed you and ensured you would never return to a particular business? How can you relate these emotions to your own customers? Thinking like a customer makes you more concerned about what you will get from your business. It puts you in a far better position to be critical about your products and services.

You should know who your ideal customer is. But where are these people? Which social networks do they use? What publications do they read? What communities are they part of? Where do they go for information? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. See the world as they do and think as they do. Active listening and digging deep to understand what is important to your customers goes a long way in establishing a relationship.

Go one step further and try to anticipate your customer’s questions before they ask them. Use social media to find out about your customer’s needs and desires before they have even thought about you. Use your company blog to answer both the questions they have and those they should have when they’re looking to buy. This way you’ll be perceived as the expert in the field and the one to go to when the time to buy is right. Don’t tell customers about the features of your product, tell them about how the product can improve their life, make things easier for them, or enhance their status. Position your product or service in a way that gives them exactly what they need.

Sight, sound and feel are the three main thought patterns most customers use. A ‘sight’ person sees the world in images and concentrates on how things look. A ‘sound’ person likes to partake in conversations and discussions. A ‘feel’ person likes to touch things, feel textures and be connected. You should work on trying to recognise your potential customer’s preferred thought patterns and tune your thoughts and language to match theirs.

An important thing to remember, and the most important point of this blog post, is always think like a customer and not ‘customers’ (plural). Think of it this way, you don’t just go to a restaurant to eat food and drink wine, you can do that at home. You go there to be treated as if you are important. Your customers are no different. They want to feel special, they want to feel they are important to you, that you understand them and can fulfil their needs. Only then will you earn their trust and enter into a profitable, long term relationship.

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