Category: Target Market

What Can Any Business Learn From One Gynecologist?

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Yeah, I know.

Now that I have your attention.

If everything about running your business is rainbows and unicorns and will always be so forever and ever no matter what happens…

…and you’ll never need to do anything to change or adapt to things like technology, customer preferences, social dynamics, or even something as unexpected as a pandemic, then feel free to skip this and go on scrolling about your day.

Or, check this out… 

In my line of work, and because of where my career has taken me over the past 22+ years, I find that I spend more time than the average bear looking for ways to apply the best of one situation or industry and apply the principles to another seemingly unrelated situation.

That’s why I couldn’t help being fascinated by a viral story that stemmed from one gynecologist, Dr. Ryan Stewart (you can find him on Twitter, @stuboo), who – in preparation for opening a new office he intended to design from scratch – took to the twitterverse to ask a few simple questions. He said:

“I’m asking women. How would you design/optimize a visit to the gynecologist’s office?

  • Problems
  • Frustrations
  • Solutions

No detail is too small”

The responses uncov..  offered some incredible insights. A few quick samples:

  • Adjustable thermostats in patient rooms
  • A signal to let health professionals know you’re done changing
  • Changing room inside the exam room
  • A layout that prevents overhearing private health conversations
  • Pay attention to the angle of exam beds, they shouldn’t face the door

There were so many more, and I won’t go into depth here as to why any of the above ideas – or any of the suggestions – are better than the others. I haven’t visited an office myself to have any qualitative opinion on their individual or collective merit, however, I do know this much…

There really is no substitute for good ol’ fashioned customer research!

“But what if I don’t have a way to get feedback like this or am not comfortable with posting these sorts of questions about my business online?”

“That all seems easy if you’re starting from scratch, but what about someone who’s been in their business for a long time?”

The real answer is to find a way to get it done anyway. 

Whether on your own, or by getting help from someone (like me, perhaps?), craft a plan to collect some customer research. 

There are SO many easy ways to do it, but you’ll want to be mindful of avoiding biases that can skew your results in ways that keep you from getting the insights and answers you really need.

A few fundamentals to consider:

  1. Ensure the format or approach you use enables the responses to come in unfiltered and free from candy-coating. If you call your best customers and talk to them on the phone, that’s better than nothing, but you’re not likely to get a complete picture of changes that can make a big difference. 
  2. Focus your efforts in a way that will yield responses you can a) actually act upon and b) are prepared and willing to adapt or respond to when they come in. This doesn’t mean you have to do everything that is suggested, but you’ll want to celebrate or announce the changes you made as a result of the research. This way, your customers and prospects will feel validated for the time they took to provide the feedback – even if you only do one thing, it will buy you time to execute others when you talk through the first change.

Another solution to consider if you don’t feel ready to tackle a customer research initiative:

Rally your key leaders and unpack each step of your customer experience. 

This is especially important if you’re in a situation where you learned how to run your business by watching how things were run while you worked for someone else. 

For example, I can’t tell you how many contractors I’ve worked with over the years who started their own business after spending years working for someone else before deciding they wanted a bigger piece of the pie or were convinced they could do more on their own. This, or just as a function of time, can cause anyone to fall into “the way it’s always been done”. Here are a few questions to work through with your team:

  1. How do we answer the phone when it rings?
  2. What is our quote/estimate process and how can we make it better for our customers?
  3. Is our website clear and easy for someone who has never seen it before or for someone who knows nothing about us or what we do?
  4. After we finish a job, provide a service, deliver a product, how do we ensure our new customer feels valued and appreciated?

The list could go on, but I hope this gets you started.

I’d LOVE to hear what you found was most helpful, and more importantly, what you’re going to do as you prepare for 2022 to improve your customer and prospect experience. I promise you’ll see improvements in your revenue, customer loyalty, and conversion rates. 

Need help? Get stuck?

Shoot me an email with “research” as the subject line and we’ll get you further down the path.

2 Basics You Can’t Ignore If You Want To Scale

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I know my target audience…it’s anyone who will pay on time, pay full price, and who will request work when my calendar allows. Is that so hard?

There are countless strategies to be studied, and an ever growing number of platforms, tools, and magic potions available for sale to run and grow a business. This only makes it easier than ever before to get distracted by all of the shiny objects for ways to shortcut the rocky road of success. 

For today’s Fundamental Friday, let’s talk through two basics that I was reminded of during a recent podcast I was listening to from Tony Robbins. Love him or hate him, the guy knows a thing or two about business and success…

Tony was asked, and I’ll paraphrase a bit, “If every book you ever wrote was lost, burned, and disappeared from the face of the planet and you had just brief moment to spend with a business owner who is trying to figure out how to grow their business, what would you tell them to do?”

It comes down to two things:

  1. Know your ideal client
  2. Have an irresistible offer

Let’s tackle the first one, first.

Knowing your ideal client is more than a demographic description, nor can it be the blue ocean description I hear all the time that was referenced at the beginning of this post. We’ve all heard that if we want to be all things to all people, we’ll end up being no things to no people.

Think about it. When was the last time you saw an ad, particularly online, that said something to the effect of “Call today to get your [insert widget here] for everyone with a heartbeat and can fog a mirror”? 

Ok, maybe those weren’t the exact words, but they might as well have been if you immediately scrolled past the ad without a second thought or microsecond of pause. Happens millions of times a day, every day. 

Contrast that experience with seeing a message that speaks to a problem or solution that is relevant to a single person or group. When we’re introduced or exposed to, or even search for, something that addresses a specific and clear need – we pause and stop scrolling… we might even click on that result. 

How can we paint a clear enough picture that compels our ideal client take action if we don’t know – or haven’t take the time to define – who they are? There’s step number one.

On to point number two.

What makes an offer irresistible? Before we dive into that, one of the crucial mistakes I see happen all the time is pulling the price lever and discounting the margin to next to nothing to drive response. The failed assumption that business owners make is that results aren’t there because we’re charging too much, or that price is the final thing standing in someone’s way from buying.

Here’s the deal. People will pay twice the price if they believe they’re getting four times the value. So, rather than brainstorming a way to slash prices or invent a fancy discount or flash sale, why not spend the same amount of time coming up with a way to bundle your product or service in a way that removes the apples to apples price competition and race to the bottom by defining a way to show more value with what you offer?

Here’s a super easy example:

Sunroom Company A is running a special for $2000 off their standard size sunroom that retails for $10,000 but is now discounted for $8,000. 

Sunroom Company B is selling their same sized sunroom for $10,000, but it includes $4,500 worth of furniture that will instantly make the new sunroom an amazing place to hangout with family and friends.

As a consumer, I know I’ll spend $2,000 more with Company B, but I’m getting $4,500 in value – plus it saves me a step of having to shop for and and haul (or deliver) the furniture set my new sunroom needs. No brainer.

BONUS HACK: Company B is MORE profitable on the sale than Company A. Why? Company A loses 100% of every dollar of that discount right off the bottom line. Company B? They negotiated a deal with a furniture supplier to get the $4,500 of furniture for $1,600 at a wholesale rate.

Coming up with what your irresistible offer is takes some creative thinking, and has to be based on things your ideal customer values, but this ought to give you a start for how to begin defining these two must-haves.

Start with the fundamentals.

-David

Stop Wasting Your Resources!

Today you’re going to learn how to find a target market of potential customers so you aren’t wasting precious resources on blitz marketing. So, the two questions you have to ask yourself are:
  • What do people really want to buy from me?
  • What related products are they already buying?
Once you figure this out you will know who is more predisposed to purchase your products/services. Then, you find other businesses with the same customer base who you can customer share with. Come up with an incentive and great arrangement to encourage both of your customer bases to shop at both of your stores. The basic concept is this: You want to find existing businesses who have the customer profile that you are looking for to market your products/services to. Then strike up a relationship with those business owners to work out an incentive for customers to purchase from both businesses. As a result, you have an audience to market to and they generate an added value from their current base. So, how do you figure this out? There is a great formula from Jay Abraham you can follow with great success. LV = (P x F) x N – MC Here’s what it all means:
  • LV is the life time value of a customer
  • P is the average profit margin from each sale
  • F is the number of times a customer buys each year
  • N is the number of years customers stay with you
  • MC is the marketing cost per customer (total costs/number of customers)
Once you know how much you need to spend to attract a new customer, you will know how much of an incentive you can offer to a business to help attract new customers. So, here’s your step-by-step process:
  1. Find companies who already have the customer base you are looking for.
  2. Negotiate an incentive for them to share that customer base with you.
  3. Focus your marketing resources to this group of predisposed customers.
If you need help working through this process, please contact us and we’ll set you up with the most comprehensive system of marketing tools and resources.