Do You Understand Who Your Ideal Client Is and What Their Purchasing Decisions Are Based On?
According to Melvin Feller, CEO of Melvin Feller Business Group and online and educational educator, regardless of the marketing program you use (newspaper ads, phone book, flyers, coupons, website, Facebook, Instagram or others, these vehicles succeed or fail on the strength and clarity of your marketing message. Melvin Feller goes on to point out and explain why is your message so important? It tells people why you do what you do and why you are different than their other choices. It also focuses on the customer’s benefits by conveying the true value of what they want.
Melvin Feller has followed the same process for over 30 years in his various business pursuits. This is his recommendation for you to follow. He goes on to recommend a test that you can do on your own. Think of something you really want as opposed to something you need. So, how do you decide who to buy from?
Customer Value is the level of satisfaction of your customer towards your business. The word “Value” can have a number of definitions or meanings. It’s often related to price for those in business, as well as for many consumers — like if I were to ask you the value of your home when you purchased it. It could also be interpreted as the worth of something, not necessarily tangible products either. Both products and services have value.
This is where you hear customers talking about getting the value for money, used typically when talking about price-sensitive customers. On the flip side, there’s money for value, which means people are willing to pay for the things they see as valuable benefits.
What does the dictionary say about value?
- The regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.
- A person’s principles or standards of behavior
- Estimating the monetary worth of something
- Considering something to be important or beneficial, or have a high opinion of it because it is beneficial.
While there are different means and the word can be used interchangeably, it becomes more of a technical term when you talk in terms of customer value.
Chances are you will make your decision on some other factor important to you; retailer location, waiting time, reputation of the store, other support from the business, or maybe something creative that I haven’t mentioned. Whatever it is, was this benefit clearly featured in the ad or website page you looked at? If so, this business has clearly honed in on what they know their ideal clients want.
Businesses who know what their customers want and market their product or services with this key benefit in mind are able to convey real value which shields them, to some degree, from price shoppers. So, how do you figure out what your best clients really want so you can create a compelling marketing message that attracts sales and a continuous flow of loyal customers?
First, determine who your ideal client is. Here’s a hint. Their name is not ‘Everyone’ or ‘Anyone’. You not only need to understand their demographics; age, occupation, income level, family structure, etc. but also their ‘psycho-graphics’ as well. Psycho-graphics deal with what they value, what they worry about, what is most important to them and what they want. Go through your current customer list and identify your best clients. Call them and ask them a few questions. The answers hold the keys to the thoughts, feelings and desires of others like them.
Next, determine what you do differently or better than anyone else who offers a similar product or service. If you ask the right questions of your best clients and listen really carefully, you will learn the reason they chose you to do business with. This is your Unique Selling Proposition- the thing you do or offer than allows people to select you over your competition.
Now, take a look at your current marketing copy. I will bet it’s filled with features about your product or service and very little that conveys real value directed at the people you most want to attract. Fixing this problem is not difficult but many times can be greatly enhanced with the help of a small business coach or marketing consultant.
Customer value is the perception of what a product or service is worth to a customer versus the possible alternatives. Worth means whether the customer feels that he or she received benefits and services over what was paid.
That can be broken down to a simple equation: Customer Value = Benefits — Cost (CV=B-C)
It can’t be so linear as to focus only on price because customers spend a lot more than just their cash when investing in products or services. You have to consider what they pay in time, effort, convenience, energy and so forth.
To the customer, the benefits can also vary which can shift the value. Value for one customer may not be the same as another. What’s important to one may not be important to another segment of your audience. Benefits could include:
- Quality of the product
- Advantages of ownership
- Company brand and affiliation
- Access to a solution
- Success from use of the product or service
- Long term takeaways (including knowledge)
Prying money from the hands of a generally skeptical, wary consumer base takes more than fancy ads or a barrage of media commercials. If you want people to gravitate to you first, your marketing message must be compelling and loaded with value that the customer will immediately recognize.
When people see value on things they really want, they will spend the money and spend it with businesses that clearly convey this value. Hopefully, consumers are spending some of it with you!
You can’t spread your resources, service teams, and sales force evenly among your entire customer base and expect a good return. You need to focus on the customers provide the greatest value in return. This is another reason why audience segmentation is so important.
Likewise, push a lot of resources towards building relationships with existing customers over acquisition. It costs less to keep a customer than to acquire a new one, and great service will boost the lifetime customer value so each customer is worth more in the long run.
Make the value/price ratio seem bigger than it is. Go the extra mile, give them a free gift, an extra service. Make them feel that they’re appreciated
Make your services or products easy to buy. Offering different ways to pay for it, delivery, etc.
Create a real Unique Value Proposition. This holds especially true if you’re dealing with B2B. Communicate with your customer why they should buy your product over the competition
Work on your brand. Your company’s name itself should be synonymous with value. Develop a unique method to treat your customers, handle complaints with care, etc.
Provide stellar customer service. At the end of the day, both your employees and customers are people. Treating them as such can be extremely rewarding for both parties.
Take the time to research and understand your market well enough that you can break it down into segments, looking deep into each audience segment to understand their most pressing needs and what they find valuable. Use the unifying characteristics of each segment to build a strong value proposition.
Always be on the lookout for new opportunities in current and new market segments for pushing value. Your competitors aren’t resting, so you shouldn’t be either.