A bit of knowledge about your customer base will do wonders for your sales, and while this is general marketing knowledge it does apply to pretty much every business under the sun. Bad marketing tactics can cause your sales to go flat at best and plummet at worst, and unfortunately, it’s true that many a business has been ruined by exactly this.
At one time businesses, could survive any number of marketing gaffes, but if the recent Pepsi ad or the fiasco with United Airlines are anything to go by, it’s quite easy to tank your company’s reputation by doing something stupid even if it seemed like a good idea at the time. Thus, it’s important to know your customers very well if you want to stay in business or grow your sales, and doing a hard sell works for no one.
The trick is to know what your customers want and make them crave for more, without pushing things too much.
Don’t assume that a hard sell is going to work – you’re not a used car salesman, and even then, hard sells don’t really work because they’re just so darn annoying.
- Hard sells put more people off than they convince to buy your products
- Knowing your customers goes a long way
Avoid hard sells, find customers who love your product, and focus on outcomes rather than the product itself.
Customer acquisition is an important matter for any business, but retention is equally important – you don’t want customers who just buy once and never come back or don’t bring you more customers. You have to know your customers well if you want to be more successful at selling things to them – hard selling on its own will do nothing or maybe even put them off more than it would ever convince them to buy something.
The trick is not to force it down your customers’ throats that they need to buy your product because they just can’t live without it, but rather to make them crave for your product on their own and buy more when they can.
Apple is a great example of a company that uses this strategy – not many people buy a new iPhone because their old one died, but rather because they simply want to upgrade to a newer model more out of desire than necessity.
Customers are more interested in outcomes than they are in your product itself.
The truth is that for the most part, customers are more focused on outcomes than on the product itself, so if you can give them this desired outcome then that’s a very successful marketing strategy that will help your sales grow.
Going back to the Apple example, the outcome is user experience – but depending on what you’re selling it could be experience or it could be something else that’s the desired outcome. The point is that outcomes come first, and your product not so much.
Don’t try to go and invert the reality of the way that people buy things, because it probably isn’t going to work. Instead, you should focus on strategies that do work.
Not everyone wants your product, but the people who love it will buy more.
- Don’t try to sell to everyone – it doesn’t work
- Find your core user base and focus your marketing on them
Some companies try and market a product to everyone, which might seem like a good idea at the time but it’s a dumb strategy that will drive your sales into the ground. You need to find a target audience for your product even if it doesn’t seem like it fills a niche, and of course if you have a niche audience then your work has already been cut out for you.
If you’re not selling a niche product though, the worst thing you can do is try and please everyone because that’s just never going to happen and its bad strategy. You will fail at pleasing everyone, so don’t bother.
A better idea is to figure out who your core customers are, because they’re the ones giving you the most money and it’s always a great idea in marketing to focus on the people who give you money. No matter what your product is, chances are that there are already groups of core customers out there and you really ought to be astute enough to figure out who your core customers are if you haven’t already.
If you’re clueless about how to figure this out, go look at your customer lists because chances are that you already have certain demographics who are more likely to buy your products. There are tools to help you find your key users if you’re developing apps, which is always helpful for both personalisation and finding your focus groups.
You might dream of being able to sell to everyone, but the fact of the matter is that you really ought to find your core customers and sell to them more instead. It’s very important to focus on your core customers, because the thing is that you’re trying to sell more, not sell to more people.
You can of course try to sell to a larger audience, but that simply isn’t what’s going to make you the most money. The best thing to do is find a few folks who are representative of your core customer bases, and model your marketing strategy on getting them to buy more.
If you cannot find a few sample “typical customers” then you really should spend a bit more time on this if you want to develop a marketing strategy that pays off and yields the desired results. Otherwise, it’s not worth your time to come up with a marketing strategy in the first place.
But if you’re willing to put a bit of effort into figuring these things out, you’ll be set. Besides that, you’ll be far ahead of your competitors because chances are that they haven’t bothered to go about these things either.