THREE KEY QUESTIONS WHOSE ANSWERS WILL GROW YOUR BUSINESS
Here are three key questions whose answers direct you to growth opportunities.
The answers don’t come from you. They come from your customers. No navel-gazing.
1. Who are your best customers? Your best customers are the ones whose needs you meet best and are the most comfortable working with you. They are the customers that best and most effortlessly fit your business, and you want as many of them as possible.
To find them, list your customers and identify those who meet these two criteria. Group them demographically and psycho-graphically to find what makes them different and see why they match your company so well. You likely possess (or have developed) expertise or method that creates loyalty and differentiates you from your competition. Differentiation is being different in a way that matters to your customers and prospects. Target the opportunities matching these attributes and do what it takes to win.
2. Why did those customers choose you? Don’t presume you know this information. Have a conversation with your best customers to find out the reasons for the initial sale. Ask what initiated the search for a solution like ours? What other solutions/providers were considered? How was the final decision made? Why did you choose us?
Do not use your sales team to get these answers as the relationship they have with the client will lead to bias, and you may need to use a third party to get objective results. Write and collect the stories of why each customer chose you. Share them with your company. These invaluable success stories teach your competitive advantage, motivate your workforce, and make great sales and marketing tools.
3. Why do those customers keep choosing you? The answers to a strong, mutually beneficial relationship are often different from the initial sale. You get these answers in the same interview with your best customers, but these answers fortify your brand and culture. Or they do not; they should as it is what your market believes.
I was a newbie executive at a company getting ready to launch an extensive marketing campaign on being the “most innovative” in our industry. We presented it to a focus group of customers. The campaign was exciting, colorful, and powerful as we touted a long list of “industry firsts” and was well received. But there was something about the room that was disquieting. I asked one of the customers, “Is our innovation why you chose us?” They said no. As we queried each person, each indicated their company did not choose us due to our innovation.
Finally, I asked why we were chosen. The answer was also unanimous.
They said, because “You care.”
Their answer was entirely consistent with our company values and culture. And we rode it as our brand to achieve 400% growth over the next 12 years while attaining 2x to 3x the number of customers as our competitors.
Basic questions. Basic business.
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The wise try to adjust themselves to the truth,
while fools try to adjust the truth to themselves.