Keith has been nothing short of transformative for the organizations with whom he's served and I’m proud, and fortunate, to call him my go-to resource.

— Megan Kilgore, Assistant Auditor, City of Columbus


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Commandment #1: Know Thy Customer

Commandment #1: Know Thy Customer

I get a lot of questions on topics like whether or not to use social media, which marketing strategies are best for companies and how to choose store locations. Those questions always make me grin, because they assume that I know their customers better than they do. Here are a few simple questions you can ask that will help you make those decisions for yourself:

Who are your customers? You have to develop a profile of who you are trying to reach. Who do you want to sell to? Individuals? Businesses? What age group(s)? Specific professions or industries?  I ask this because you should know who your customers are before you ever try to open a business.

Where are your customers now? Where do they hang out? Are they Facebook users? If not, then investing in FB marketing strategies would get you no where. Figure out where they are and go there. If your clients are using Twitter a lot, then maybe it makes sense to invest some of your time developing a presence there.

This is also a good question if you are considering where to open your brick and mortar store. If you’re trying to attract a highly affluent female clientele, don’t open shop in the low rent part of town. If you’re not first to market, your goal is to get people who aren’t currently buying to start buying OR to get people who are buying to switch. You can’t do that if it’s not convenient. I can love your product or service, but I won’t switch if the cost – price, time, energy, effort, value – is too great. Be easy to do business with (ETDBW).

Where do they work, live or play? Try to connect your store to areas in the community which your customers already frequent. This means you have to keep track of shifting trends. Today’s hot spot won’t necessarily be tomorrow’s. You have to be ahead of big shifts to new areas of your city.

What do they value most? Time? Money? Convenience? Speed? Quality? All of these things are already established by your customers before you ever meet them. You have to figure out what they want and deliver it.  The intersection of customers’ needs and expectations with your products and services is where sales occur. Don’t miss the opportunity.

Time spent researching your customer will not be time wasted. In fact, the better you know your customers, the more accurately you can predict behaviors, customize pitches and convert leads to sales. Try it and let me know what results you get.


Photo  credit: Creative Commons 10ch

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Keith is a life & business strategist, connector, author, facilitator, speaker, entrepreneur & CEO. He’s a dad to an 8 lb. pit bull wannabe, a wine drinker, a softball player and a not-so-silent social voyeur.

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