Survey the Mess for Success
In this episode of the Messy Back-End of Entrepreneurship, our Expert, Tom Sylvester, Business Strategist, shares his advice on how to increase sales to our idea clients by surveying the ones we have already had.
“Make improvements, not excuses. Seek respect, not attention.” – Roy T. Bennett
Entrepreneur l Business Strategist
How can I know what my customers want so I can prove my products and services?
This is definitely a common challenge.
First, if you have a list of customers reach out and connect with them. Having 1 on 1 conversations whether it is through an e-mail, phone call or in-person meeting can be very beneficial in understanding where your customers are, how they are liking the product or service, and what you can improve on that.
If you are thinking about the customers’ journey and how long they are going to be interacting with you put an automated survey in partway through the journey. You can check in with them and see how things are going and ask them if you can improve on anything. Then you can look for trends to focus on when improving your products.
Keep surveys short and to the point.
Once you solve one problem for them think about what the next problem is that they are now facing. Every problem we solve ends up exposing another problem for someone. This is a great way to increase the lifetime value of your customers. You can even ask them what their next step or problem is that they are facing.
If you are starting your business and you can hit the middle of the customer journey usually they are willing to pay more because you are solving a bigger problem for them. As you expand your business you can build out on both sides by looking at what they need before and after.
We generally have some biases, so take a look at your questions and make sure you are not leading them a certain way. Ask the question, but then also ask if they can elaborate and tell you more. It encourages them to go deeper and explain exactly what they mean. The follow-up and probing questions get past the surface level and really expose any problems.
How do you track all that data?
If you do an online survey all that data will be collected and stored in one place. If we are doing a call or an interview right after the call take 5-10 minutes and just make notes about the call including some of the key call outs or highlights.
Whenever we are having a sales conversation, our goal is to give them clarity and help them make a decision.
A key part is looking at why we think we are the best choice in our industry? One of the most useful things you can do is take a look at the top 3 existing alternatives in your industry. Figure out why you are better than those top 3 existing alternatives because someone is going to ask that and for you to be able to call out the differences and why it is better for them is very powerful.
Consistency makes successful businesses, so automate some of these things and make sure doing these activities is part of your daily and weekly schedule.
Make sure your connected and always evolving as your customers are evolving as well.
Be sure you are in the minds of your customers not just listening but understanding their feelings so you can make that difference for them.
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