Thursday, April 21, 2011

Customers - You Can Learn So Much From Them

Shelly and I have been taking on a lot of new clients lately, yeah for us, and it's made me shift my focus a little on what it is people are really looking for when they come to us. This is great because it's allowed us to focus more and also kickstart the development of a few products that have been gathering dust.

I bring this up for two reasons, first I think we can all learn from our customers when we listen to them, but this shift has also given me some insight into how and why people buy.

Learn From Your Customers

I want to encourage you to really look at what your customers are buying, what sort of feedback they give, and what they're general comments are. This insight will not only allow you to continue to produce meaningful products that sell, but will help to define your target audience.

Knowing who you're selling to allows you to find new needs you can fill, reach more of your audience, and more successfully market your business. If you realize that everyone who's buying your jewelry is over the age of 40, looks at your $60 necklaces as impulse buys, and lives in Marin County you'll know you're wasting your time trying to get into a hipster Mission boutique. Yeah to knowing where to focus your energy.

Additionally if you start getting feedback that buying your notebooks makes customers feel good because they're buying sustainably and they get tons of compliments about their great taste, you can use that in your marketing to attract even more customers who want to feel that way.

Ask for feedback, interact and be sure to note both what's working and what isn't. You may find that your favorite items just don't sell, but that little trinket you created to use up some scrap is your biggest seller. Use that knowledge to help you decide how to best put your creative energy to use.

Observations on Buying Habits

I can't profess to tell you that I know the secrets of why and how people buy. If I did I would be laying on my private beach in Mexico drinking a beer and eating guacamole instead of writing this blog post. Just saying. However, I have noticed a few things in the last year in trying to second guess my clients and give them what they want.

People really like something tangible they also like added value. Many of you are selling a product and are already working in the tangible, but I challenge you to also create a tangible benefit. Besides your product what do customers get from choosing you? Are you solving a problem? Do you fill a need? Do you confirm their image as cutting edge, a foodie, or socially conscious? The benefit you find is your added value and the answer to the question, "Why buy from you and not your competition?"

Those of you selling a service know this is sometimes a harder problem to solve. If you're offering consulting or coaching the results vary based on the individual and how much energy they put in, but if you can structure your services in such a way that you can offer tangible results if steps are followed the value of your service becomes more clear. And don't forget the added value part. You also have a distinction from your competition, key into the customers that want that benefit.

To put it simply you need to be as clear about what people are getting for their money as you can. Be sure to let them know about the additional warm fuzzy feelings, boost to cred, and self-care that come along with the purchase.

30-Minute Consults

If you're struggling with how to figure this out for yourself, Shelly and I can help. A lot of what we do is provide the outside perspective to look at your business and really key in on those added values and target market.

On Saturday, April 30th we're offering 30-minute free consultations between the hours of noon and 2pm. Book your session to get some initial insight and feedback as well as discuss how we might be able to help you further. Just send me an email and we'll book your time now.

I encourage comments directly to this post, but also feel free to email me directly with questions, reactions, struggles, etc.
If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Jen from Mama's Magic Studio about joining SFEtsy!

1 comment:

Angelina Fong Designs said...

These are great tips and some wonderful food for thought for any business owner! Thanks for sharing!

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